Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chicken Soft Tacos & Quesadillas

Chicken Soft Taco on a homemade flour tortilla
Chicken Quesadilla
Here'a another dish, like chicken nachos, that I make regularly, but have never written the recipe for. Now I have. My husband really enjoys chicken quesadillas, but I just don't. I'm not sure why, but whenever he tells me that chicken quesadillas sound good for dinner, my heart sinks a little. So, I usually make chicken nachos or a chicken burrito instead. I know, I know, what's the difference really? I think I just like to reserve that much cheese for pizza. I can't explain it. Maybe it's me being oppositional. At any rate, that's why you get two recipes in one here. 
This chicken can also be prepared in the crock pot by placing frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot with salsa and a little salt. Cook on low 6-8 hours, shred chicken, and you have nice juicy chicken for tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. My son Max and I really don't fully enjoy the flavor of the chicken when it's prepared that way. I can't put my finger on that one either, but it just has a different flavor. At least it's an option for those who aren't so picky, though.
Usually, I serve these things with Mexican rice and beans, but tonight, we used leftover rice, tortilla chips, and watermelon as our sides. None of those seemed worth photographing, so the tacos and quesadillas are the stars. I'm not going to try to get these onto or anything; you get the idea.

Chicken Soft Tacos & Quesadillas


  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into chunks, or about 6-8 chicken tenders
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup salsa (I like Herdez medium)
  • salt to taste
Over medium heat, bring chicken and salsa to a simmer and cook until tender and shreds easily (about 30  minutes).  If you're using the chicken tenders, when chicken is cooked, remove the tendon at the fat end with tongs or a knife and fork.
Sprinkle chicken with a little salt and set aside.  

  • 5 large flour tortillas 
  • 2 1/2 cups (approx.) shredded cheese (pepper jack, jack, cheddar, or some mixture of those)
  • salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or other preferred condiments
Preheat oven to about 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Put in a large tortilla. Immediately place about half a cup of cheese on half of the tortilla and fold over to make a half circle. If space allows, put in another tortilla and do the same. Cook on one side for about 1 minute; then turn over with a spatula. Cook one more minute. With the spatula or tongs, carefully open up the tortilla to expose melty cheese.  Place about 1/4 cup of the shredded chicken evenly over one side; then close again. Turn over to heat again on other side. Repeat with other quesadilla. When tortilla is lightly browned on both sides and cheese is completely melted, remove to a cutting board and cut into wedges with a pizza cutter or large knife. Place on an oven-proof plate and place in the warm oven to wait. Repeat with remaining ingredients. 
Serve warm with desired condiments.
Makes 5 large quesadillas; serves about 4.

Soft Tacos:
Place a clean kitchen towel on a plate so that you can fold it over the warmed tortillas when they're hot. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Heat one or two tortillas at a time, about 30 seconds on each side. When hot carefully move to the towel-lined plate, cover with the towel and another inverted plate. When all tortillas are warmed, you can assemble tacos with about 1/4 cup chicken and desired condiments.
Makes 10 soft tacos.

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