2.04.2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Quesadillas


I'm pretty sure for those of us who are food-obsessed, sometimes it doesn't even matter what teams are playing in the Super Bowl (not that I wouldn't have liked to see the Patriots make it). We just get happy the Super Bowl is coming because it gives us an excuse to make party food. I'm hoping to throw together a big pot of chili this weekend, but another recipe that I think is perfect for the occasion is these slow cooker chicken quesadillas.

I have been making these, or some version of them, since I found the recipe for crockpot chicken tacos on Beantown Baker a year or so ago. The recipe includes a great spice mixture to give the chicken lots of flavor, and the leftover spice mixture can be used for future Mexican recipes in place of those store-bought packets of taco seasoning (not that there's anything wrong with those).


The chicken cooks slowly in the spices, broth, onions, and diced tomatoes until it can be easily shredded to make up the quesadilla filling.


The bulk of the recipe is hands off, and once the chicken is done and shredded, you'll just need to assemble and grill the quesadillas. You could even involve your Super Bowl party guests and have them assemble their own quesadillas, providing an array of fillings and salsas for them to choose from. I just go with the basics: chicken and cheese. And I'm a guacamole fiend, so that's the one topping I make sure to prepare and have on hand when I serve these.

Homemade Taco Seasoning (from Beantown Baker)

Ingredients

3 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper

Preparation

Mix all of the spices together. I like to measure them into a container that has a lid, so I can just throw the lid on and shake everything up.



The mix can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year, and 2 1/2 tablespoons is equal to one taco seasoning packet.


Slow Cooker Chicken Quesadillas (adapted from Beantown Baker)
(Print this recipe)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
15 ounces low sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning mix (recipe above)
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes and liquid
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 to 4 tablespoons butter
6 to 8 flour tortillas
1 8-ounce package of shredded cheese (cheddar or a Mexican cheese blend works well)
Salsa, guacamole, etc. (optional)

Preparation

Heat olive oil in small frying pan over medium heat. Add diced onion, and saute until soft and starting to brown.


Transfer onions to slow cooker.


Measure the chicken broth into a large measuring cup, and whisk in the taco seasoning.


Pour the diced tomatoes and their liquid into the slow cooker.


Lay the chicken breasts on top of the tomatoes, and pour the broth/seasoning mixture over the chicken.


Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Test the chicken before removing it, and make sure it pulls apart easily with a fork.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a large bowl, and shred it using two forks.


Use the slotted spoon to scoop the diced tomatoes out of the slow cooker, and add those to the shredded chicken (unless you live with someone who doesn't like tomatoes, in which case, add them to your own quesadilla). Then stir about five spoonfuls of the liquid from the slow cooker into the shredded chicken to moisten it.


Preheat a panini grill with flat plates to 400. (You could also use a frying pan or griddle, but you'll have to flip the quesadillas to brown both sides.)

Brush or rub the grill with some butter, until it is well coated, and scrape off any excess with a spatula.

Place a tortilla on the grill, and spoon chicken on half of it. Top the chicken with cheese, and fold the empty half of the tortilla over the chicken and cheese.



Close the panini grill, and press down to make sure the quesadilla is touching the grill plate. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until quesadilla starts to brown and cheese is melted.


Transfer to a cutting board, and cut the quesadilla in quarters.



Place on a serving plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas until you run out of chicken. You may need to re-butter the grill between every two or three quesadillas.


Serve with salsa and guacamole (if desired).


If you need the perfect dessert to follow these quesadillas, try these Mexican chocolate crackle cookies.



What are you making (or eating) for the Super Bowl?

25 comments:

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

The friends who always host the Superbowl party we go to are on their honeymoon, so I probably won't een watch! I usually only go to chat! :) These look delicious though!

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Mmm, certainly can't pass up a good quesadilla!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I love all of the inspiration that Jen has been providing lately! This recipe looks both easy and tasty!

Elizabeth said...

I haven't made quesadillas in forever. They're so easy and so good. Funnily enough, I think I'm making baklava for the super bowl.

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I love using my slow cooker and this is one more excuse to do so! I made salsa verde enchiladas in the slow cooker recently that were really good. You can't beat that tender. flavor-infused chicken!

Jen said...

I love guac as well. It's amazing. Glad you enjoyed the chicken. Last year I hosted a Superbowl party just so I could plan the menu and have fun cooking all day. It was awesome (and my two favorite teams were in it last year).

Amy Johnson said...

YUM! We have quesadillas weekly--I can't wait to try these!

Jessie said...

Yum! i'll have to try that chicken - i got a new crockpot that needs to be broken in!

Daisy said...

I'm making chili for superbowl guests too! I've only made it once before so I'm excited. i think i'll do some version of a buffalo chicken dip, too!

Lizzy said...

Wow Megan, those look awesome!!! I'm adding those to my list! They look delicious. I really should create my own taco mix- thanks for reminding me to do that : )

MelissaNibbles said...

I love quesadillas! I want these tonight.

Sarah @ Semi-Sweet said...

Yes! These look great. Monday's a slow cooker night at our house (late-lasting lesson) and this is goin' on the menu for next week - love the homemade taco seasoning idea, too!

Joanne said...

In my opinion, the best part of hte super bowl is the food! And these quesadillas look fantastic. Heck, I want those for lunch tomorrow...who can wait until Sunday!

Kristy said...

The super bowl just doesn't seem as exciting when the Pats aren't involved! lol The quesadillas look great, I love finding new recipes for the slow cooker and I just started making taco seasoning from scratch, so delish! Have a great weekend!!

kitchenmisfit said...

That spice mix really looks awesome!

Kerstin said...

Love all those spices! I really need to get a slow cooker so I can make things like this.

Aimee said...

I would pay good money to have a quesadilla like that in my hand right now...they look so delicious, megan!

i also need to get off my butt and make my own taco seasoning. thanks for passing on the inspiration!

Joan said...

This looks so good Megan.
Guacamole is a favoite of mine too. Check out the Guacamole Monterey recipe on my site. It's from the Harvey Girl Cookbook. An El Tovar Holtel, Grand Canyon, recipe. Tags: dips, under the Southwest Dinner post. The dash of Worcestershire really adds to it. Never would have thought to put it in.

Shannon said...

delicious! perfect for a quick meal... need to remember that ;)

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

Yum! These quesadillas look delicious! I love that you can throw it in the slow cooker...perfect for an awesome weeknight meal. Can't wait to try! :)

Alicia said...

YUM - someone is making quesadilla's at our super bowl party and this post got me really excited for them... I'm bummed the Pat's didn't make it, but I'm rooting for green bay....

Here's a hint - they represent CHEESE. So that is an easy way to win my favor.

Amy at TheSceneFromMe said...

Oh this looks delicious! Gotta love crock pot meals for the ease of it. And because I don't like to cook chicken or handle it.
Love onions too! So the panini press has a grill side too?!

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

wow, that's a lot of spices, but looks like it was all worth it. love quesadilas and guacamole!

Eliana said...

For me the Super Bowl is so much more about the food than it is about the game. I wish I had had these quesadillas at my place this past Sunday!

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