I highly recommend free range chicken - not as an animal rights thing, but due to the taste & how moist they are compared to regular chicken breasts. It is a little more $$ but well worth it to me.
Each breast is almost a pound!
Feel free to check out my guide "How to Make Mojo Marinade" or use your own marinade. Nothing wrong with store bought either - I just enjoy making my own.
Mojo marinade = MoGood!
The foundation and gooey goodness of the quesadilla.
Shred the cheese.. Nibble a bit to make sure it's ok. :-)
Mmmm cheese.. TIP: While I normally wouldn't use cheddar for quesadillas, I've used an applewood smoked cheddar several times - VERY good. Downside is it's $7-8 for a small block.
Secret ingredient #1 - normally I use bourbon but don't have any at the moment. Thought this orange liquor would compliment the citrusy mojo marinade.
Secret ingredient #2 to make these quesadillas awesome!
TIP: several chefs & butchers shared this with me.. Sit the chicken out a bit before cooking to allow it to get closer to room temperature. I normally let it sit 30-45 mins.
Limes for garnish and - maybe - beer or margaritas!
I like to chop off the sides of bell peppers to grill them.
Chop chop chop chop
TIP: cutting through the root helps keep the onion intact while cooking
I grill with hardwood lump charcoal & wood chunks/chips, but you can cook these on a gas grill or even stovetop in a sauté pan. However, live fire provides a deep, smoky flavor that is hard to beat.
A charcoal chimney is a GREAT tool for charcoal grills - no liquid starter required!
I've found 2 full sheets of newspaper loosely crumpled are perfect for use in the charcoal chimney.
TIP: Publix has hardwood lump charcoal at the best price I've found $5-6 for 8 lbs. You don't have to use a lot of hardwood lump charcoal - it burns hotter than briquettes.
Soaking the oak chunks & oak whiskey barrel chips. Experiment with different types of wood - oak is economical & great all around, but I also like hickory, mesquite, pecan, cherry, cedar & applewood.
Pour out the coals once they're on fire.
Careful - it sparks up! I wouldn't wear a silk shirt when grilling. Of course, I wouldn't wear one when I'm not grilling either. :-)
Wood chunks have joined the party. * the corn shown in the coals is part of another guide I published "How to Make Mexican Street Corn"
Put the grate on & give it a good scrub.
Either spray the grates or rub with an old (clean) cloth soaked in canola oil then put the food on the grill. Oh, and that's not a bad picture - it's wonderful smoky goodness hugging the food!
To cover or not to cover, that is the question. Up to you - I cover if the flames from the wood are too much.
3-4 minutes to set the protein then.. FLIP!
Take a swig of your favorite frosty beverage - you're doing great!
Time to flip again..
At this point start building your quesadillas putting cheese in the tortillas. I've done it both ways - full and half quesadillas. Half is MUCH easier to deal with on a grill.
A bit of char (tasty bits) & some wonderful color from the flames and wood smoke.
Cut however you prefer your chicken in quesadillas.
Slice up the grilled veggies as well & start loading up your quesadillas.
Add the chicken and head back to the grill for the finishing touch.
Quick clean again..
Be sure not to put over too much heat - the tortillas burn easily. You just want a little crispness on the tortilla & for the cheese to be melted.
Ready to eat!! Reminder that I also have guides for making the Mexican street corn, mojo marinade, guacamole & fresh & simple salsa!
Experiment with various meats, wood smoke, cheeses and sides!
- 2.0lb Chicken breasts
- 4.0 Flour or corn tortillas (burrito size)
- 0.0lb Monterey Jack cheese
- 0.0 Red onion
- 2.0 Bell peppers
- 1.0tsp Kosher salt
- 1.0tsp Black pepper
- 1.0tsp Garlic salt
- Mojo marinade (optional)
- Salsa (optional)
- Guacamole (optional)
- Sour cream (optional)