Thai Chicken Quesadillas

As everyone knows (since I made it clear in one of my last posts) my birthday was a week ago today.  Let me clue you in on a little traumatic history of my birthday (which doesn’t actually affect my life, personally).  The great Lucille Ball died on my 5th birthday.  Tragic, I know.  And now, on my 29th birthday, the late and great country music legend, George Jones, died.  If you don’t know his music, then there is seriously something wrong with you.  Not only that, but the day before my birthday, the country singer Jason Aldean announced separting from his wife (they were high school sweethearts and have two daughters), and then the next day, on my birthday, officially filed for divorce.  Seriously.  Ok ok, I know tragic things happen EVERY day, and to people of all walks of life, not just celebrities, but still.  Way to dampen my birthday, guys. 😉  But in all seriousness, may George Jones (the Possum) rest in peace.

That all being said, I’m sharing a recipe that I made 8 days ago.  My husband and I went on a lovely weekend getaway to the Green Mountains of Vermont and stayed at a quaint little country inn, the West Dover Inn and please, check them out!  The innkeepers (a middle-aged couple and their adult son) are the sweetest people and the inn is very home-y.  We stayed in a suite, complete with a fireplace and a jacuzzi tub!

Ok, so back to this dinner (I realize I got side-tracked again in the above paragraph).  Thai Chicken Quesadillas.  DELISH.  It was three days after my Thai Chicken Enchiladas (they used a lot of the same ingredients, therefore no food went to waste, and really helped my budget – yay!).  However, for this dish, I found SWEET CHILI SAUCE instead of regular chili sauce.  My husband’s taste buds thanked me generously.  Now, the original blogger prefaced her post with how simple this recipe is to make.  I, on the other hand, did not find it so simple.  There are a LOT of steps.  That all being said, it was wonderfully worth it.  We have a quesadilla maker (bridal shower gift!), therefore I used it as opposed to pan-frying (but that obviously works too).  The first quesadilla I made (which ended up being mine, since it was so messy), was way too thick on the sauce therefore was horribly gooey (I guess horribly is the wrong word, since it was still super-yummy).  In any case, I lightened up on the sauce for the second one, which I gave to my husband.  Then of course we used the leftover sauce for dipping.  This was also a one-dish meal, as there were veggies packed inside, and an entire quesadilla is filling enough without having to include a side of rice or beans.

I will now get on to the picture and recipe itself.  Also, no more links to click.  I think this post is a personal record high of links in any of my posts. =P


Thai Chicken Quesadillas

-1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes (I just shredded mine – I prefer that)
-1/4tsp salt (I went lighter on the salt)
-1/4tsp pepper
-1/4tsp cumin
-1.5tbsp olive oil
-1/2 sweet onion, diced
-2/3cu shredded napa cabbage
-1/3cu chopped carrots
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1/3cu chopped peanuts
-a big bunch of cilantro (I only had half a bunch left, but it was enough)
-1cu grated pepperjack cheese
-4 whole wheat tortillas
-1/2cu sweet chili sauce
-1/4cu rice vinegar
-1/4cu lite canned coconut milk (I used coconut milk from a half-gallon container in the organic food section, it was cheaper than buying canned, since I needed it for the other recipe earlier in the week, then my husband just drank the leftovers)
-3tbsp brown sugar
-3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
-1tbsp creamy peanut butter
-1tsp-sized knob of ginger, grated
-1 lime, juiced
-1/2tbsp soy sauce

-Combine chili sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, sugar, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce and lime juice in a saucepan, whisking until combined.
-Heat oven medium heat until mixture comes to a bubble, let boil for 1 minute then reduce to low and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
-Heat a large skillet oven medium-high heat and add olive oil. Season chicken with salt, pepper and cumin, then add to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-6 minutes. Remove chicken and set on a plate (side note: I had pre-cooked the chicken, as I didn’t realize that cooking it was part of the recipe, so I just heated the shredded chicken a bit, but not for the full 5-6mins)
-Add remaining olive oil with onion, cabbage, carrots and garlic. Stir to coat and cook until slightly wilted but still crunchy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove and add to the plate with the chicken.
-Using the same skillet (or an electric griddle), lay one tortilla down. To assemble the quesadillas, take a bit of cheese to “glue” on each side.
-Add a layer of cheese, half of the chicken mixture, sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts, about 2-3 tablespoons of the thai sauce, then cover with a bit more cheese. Place the second tortilla on top and cook until browned and crisp, and cheese is melted. Flip and cool until golden on the other side. Repeat with the second quesadilla (I used the quesadilla maker, but if you are using a pan/griddle, then follow the above instructions).
-Serve the remaining sauce for dipping!


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