Jalapeño Garlic Chicken Quesadillas

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We had originally planned to make standard chicken tacos for dinner tonight but decided to mix (or melt?) things up with these cheesy jalapeño garlic chicken quesadillas instead.  Matt found the marinade recipe on About.com and I think that it gave the chicken a great amount of flavor without overwhelming the other ingredients in the quesadilla.

Our garden-fresh peppers were featured three ways in this meal.  We used two jalapeño peppers in the marinade, sliced up two small red peppers to saute with the onions and applied a few drops of our super-hot roasted fresh chile salsa (recipe coming soon!) over top of the cheese in the final quesadilla.  Delicious!

Jalapeño Garlic Chicken Quesadillas

You will need…
2 Jalapeño Peppers, stems removed
2-3 cloves Garlic, peeled
3/4 cup Water
1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Ancho Chile Powder
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Chicken Breast (2 halves)
Peanut Oil
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced into thin strips
6-8 Corn Tortillas
1 cup Shredded Cheese (we used Sargento Authentic Mexican Blend – a mix of Queso Quesadilla, Asadero, Queso Gallego, Manchego and Anejo Enchilado Cheese… whew!)
Hot Sauce or Roasted Fresh Chile Salsa to taste

Place the jalapeño peppers and garlic in a blender and blend until finely chopped.  Add the next seven ingredients (water thru black pepper) and blend thoroughly.  Pour the mixture into a large zipper-top bag and add the chicken.  Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Add a tablespoon of Peanut Oil to a large skillet and saute the onion over medium heat.  When the onion is tender and starting to brown, add the red bell pepper and continuing sauteing until the peppers have softened slightly, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove the onions and peppers from the skillet and set aside.

Grill the marinaded chicken over direct medium-high heat until cooked through, approximately 7-8 minutes per side.  Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting it into thin slices.

Add a small amount of peanut oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat.  Place one corn tortilla in the skillet and top with a small handful of shredded cheese.  Layer a few slices of chicken onto the cheese and spoon some of the onion-pepper mixture over the chicken.  Top with another scant handful of cheese and a few drops of your favorite hot sauce or spicy salsa.  Layer a second corn tortilla onto your creation.  Allow the bottom of the quesadilla to turn golden brown then carefully flip the quesadilla over and cook the other side until golden.  Remove the quesadilla from the skillet, and repeat the layering process with the remaining 2-3 quesadillas.  Slice the quesadillas into quarters and serve with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream… or just eat them as is!  🙂