Prep 1 hr
Cook 15 mins
Quesadillas are lightning-fast to put together, can be prepared in advance, and are universally loved. In other words, they are ideal for entertaining, especially for large groups. Make life easy by using canned black beans and bottled roasted red peppers. (Make sure they are, in fact, roasted) Those not labled fire-roasted or flame-roasted are, most likely, steamed to remove the skin and will lack the subtle roasted flavor of their black-specked counterparts. Draining the beans and blotting the peppers dry before putting the quesadillas together will prevent the tortillas from getting soggy. This recipe is written for grilled quesadillas, but they can be prepared just as easily in a skillet wide enough to hold them comfortably over edium-low heat, or browned on a baking sheet under the broiler. Use either smoked thighs or breasts. From the cookbook, "Smokin" Makes 10 appetizer or 4 main course servings
- 2 cups shredded smoked chicken
- 1 large red bell peppers, roasted and peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/4-inch) or 3⁄4 cup diced bottled roasted red pepper (1/4-inch)
- 8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
- 4 cups monterey jack cheese (about 8 ounces) or 4 cups mild cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained thoroughly
- Smoke the chicken according to related recipe, and cool to room temperature. When cool, shred the chicken coarsely into pieces about 1/2 x 1 inch. If using thighs, discard the fat and cartilage as you go.
- Blot the peppers dry with paper towels. Arrange four of the tortillas on a work surface and divide the cheese among them, making an even layer of the cheese right up to the edges of the tortillas. Scatter the beans, roasted pepper, and chicken over the cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas, pressing them down firmly to seal the quesadillas. (The quesadillas can be prepared up to one day in advance and refrigerated.
- Prepare a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill. Ready a cutting board and large sharp knife or pizza cutter near the grill. Grill two of the quesadillas about 4 inches from the heat until the underside is lightly browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Slice the quesadillas to different parts of the grill once or twice to make sure they cook evenly. Flip the quesadillas and cook until the second side is light browned and crispy and the cheese is completely melted, about 2 minutes. Remove the quesadillas to the cutting board and let them stand a couple minutes before cutting into 8 wedges. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.
- Note: If you plan to make the quesadillas more than an hour or two in advance, place a square of paper towel between each ot keep them from sticking together.