Friday, March 21, 2014

Delicious Chicken Quesadillas with Bacon



It has been an exciting week in the All Things Libby household.

Tuesday, I spent the afternoon on my grandparents' farmland cutting firewood with my brother.  It was a beautiful day and there is something so nostalgic about spending a few hours tromping through the same woods that we explored decades ago as munchkins.


All of that lumberjacking was a lot of work!  Thankfully, in addition to a truck full of firewood for the summer, it also earned me the treat of having dinner prepared by my dear husband, reminded me of when we were dating.

He prepared his signature dish of tortellini with homemade tomato cream sauce and cheesy garlic bread.  It was the perfect meal to refuel after a grueling afternoon in the woods and before my volleyball match at night.  (I asked him to take pictures, but he declined, or ignored, my request).

And an added bonus was that there was leftover tomato cream sauce which was perfect for the quesadillas for last night's dinner.

Before I get to the delicious chicken quesadillas, I also want to share another recent development.

Thursday, I started as an instructional aide at Harmony Elementary school, which is only a half mile from home and where our youngest, Landon, is a 2nd grader.  I think I may have gotten more hugs today from adorable little girls, than I have from my own growing kids in the last month.

I'm thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of such a great school and to contribute the education and future of our children.

Now, on to this fabulous, family-pleasing meal.  

Starting with the frozen chicken tenders, add them to a pan over medium heat with some hot oil for sautéing and sprinkle in some seasoning salt.


While they were cooking, I chopped up the onion and tomato, to cook in the pan when the chicken was just about done.


After chopping the chicken, it was added back to the pan, to really get the party started!

Next came some rice that was also leftover from earlier in the week.  (Have I mentioned that I hate throwing away leftovers?  If anything can be incorporated into another meal, it will be!)


Finally, the tomato cream sauce (recipe below) was poured into the pan to complete the chicken filling.

For a simplified version, just some sour cream thinned with milk, if necessary, stirred in with the chicken, tomatoes and onions would still yield a similar result.


Now, starting with a medium flour tortilla, placed in a pan, sprayed with Pam, make a smooth layer of the chicken filling.


Then add the shredded colby jack cheese and lastly, surely not least, cut in a slice of bacon, using a kitchen shears before topping with a second tortilla.


The bacon was left from breakfast for dinner earlier in the week and I pleaded with the guys, that if they left a few pieces I could use it in another meal later in the week.  I don't think they were disappointed.

Cook on each side over medium heat for a few minutes, to desired doneness/browning.

One of the trickiest parts of making Delicious Chicken Quesadillas with Bacon, in my book, is flipping them.

The best way that I have found is to use an inverted plate, slightly smaller that the pan, place it on top of the tortilla to hold the quesadilla together while flipping and then sliding back into the pan with the cooked side up.  (This may have been an appropriate time to take and insert a video, as I'm not sure that words do it justice.)


After another 3 or 4 minutes on the second side, the Delicious Chicken Quesadillas with Bacon is done.  I slide it out onto a cutting board and use a pizza wheel to cut into quarters after it has had a chance to cool for a few minutes (usually after I have that next quesadilla started in the pan).


Serve it up with some sour cream and salsa (avocados or guacamole would also be fabulous) and your family will be begging for more.

I always make extras of this dish, as cold quesadillas are even better than cold pizza!  Try it, you'll see!


Recipe

Jerry's Tomato Cream Sauce 
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsps minced garlic
1 stick of butter
2 cups of heavy cream
8 oz tomato sauce

 Saute the onion and garlic in the butter, add the cream and finally the tomato sauce, simmer to desired consistency.

 Chicken Filling
2 # frozen chicken tenders
3 tbsp oil
1 medium onion - chopped
1 tomato - chopped
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup tomato cream sauce

Cook chicken in pan with pre-heated oil.  When nearly completed, add the onion and tomato to sauté.  Chop up chicken and return to pan, add rice and tomato cream sauce.  Simmer to desired consistency.

Quesadilla
Pam - cooking spray
1 package medium flour tortillas
Chicken filling (from above)
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
5 slices cooked bacon

Spray pan with Pam, place tortilla into pan, add a smooth layer of the chicken, then add cheese and bacon before topping with a second tortilla.  Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes until tortilla is browned and cheese is melted.