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Margarita Chicken Quesadillas

Caramelized, cumin-spiced onions, tequila-spiked chicken, tomatillos and Monterey Jack cheese add layers of perfectly-blended flavor to these unique, easy-to-make quesadillas.

Margarita Chicken Quesadillas

Margarita Chicken Quesadillas

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
  • 4 medium tomatillos, cored and chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Preparation:
Using a sharp knife, trim away any white tendons from the chicken tenderloins and cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, 3 minutes. Season with the cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the lime juice and continue cooking until the onions are caramelized, 6 to 7 minutes longer.

Add the chopped tomatillos and jalapénos and continue cooking until the tomatillos are slightly softened, 2 minutes longer. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat an additional tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until no longer pink on the outside, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice along with the tequila. Continue cooking until the liquid evaporates, 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to the plate with the onion-tomatillo mixture and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet and brush lightly with a bit of the remaining oil. Add a tortilla and sprinkle with 2 ounces of the shredded cheese. On one half of the tortilla, add a layer of the onion mixture, top with a layer of chicken and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. As soon as the cheese is melted, fold the other half of the tortilla over the filled side.

Using the back of a large spatula, press the quesadilla flat and cook until the tortilla is lightly browned on the bottom. Flip and cook until lightly browned on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Transfer the quesadilla to a serving platter and keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.

Cut the quesadillas in half before serving.

Makes 4 servings

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