Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chicken Quesadillas and Mexican Rice

Doesn't look nearly as good as it tastes!

Today was another day at the confection studio. And can I just say, I hate it when Tariq comes over to correct me for something someone else told me to do. It actually happens at least once every day. All I want to say is WELL IT WASN'T MY IDEA. But as if I'm going to throw someone under the bus. That's just part of the learning process I guess. I haven't severely hurt myself or broken anything yet though so that's a pretty big plus. Evryone has been really nice though I am learning so much about everything. I can't wait to try out all this stuff on my own. I have been asking about the candied pecans (ergo crack) for weeks now and tomorrow I am FINALLY going to learn how to make them. I can't wait to do a post on them. I'm actually addicted to the stuff it's pretty pathetic. Everyone makes fun of me at work because I actually can't stop eating them. 

to the dillas....
So I accidentally invented this recipe for quesadillas one day when I was ice box cooking at my dad’s house. (isn't that the expression? ice box cooking? like random mashuganuh you find in your cabinet that you make something out of? I digress...). I had my leftover homemade salsa in the fridge and I also had leftover Fontina and American cheese from the baked macaroni that I had made. Since the father likes to keep all kinds of frozen goodies in our outdoor freezer, I went digging and found some chicken thighs (first thought, who buys chicken thighs?) and some tortillas. No joke, they turned out to be the best quesadillas I have ever had. (and my mom and brother agree which I was definitely excited about. It probably would have made my week if my first car ever was supposed to be delivered this week also. I think I might wet myself I’m so excited). As a result of my sweet success I will never use another dilla recipe ever again. The Mexican rice was also super moist (yeah moist) and really good also, however I think next time I will use parsley or something else green other than cilantro. I think it might have been too overpowering.  I mean the dillas where so good the rice was basically obsolete. Courtney (my best friend and roommate next year) and I are pretty big Mexican food fans too so i'm pretty excited that I now have this golden recipe under my utility belt.

Mexican Rice
I cup of Long Grain White Rice
1 and 1/4 cup of chicken broth (I can)
3/4 cup of water 
1/2 cup omato Sauce
I ripe tomato
I red pepper 
2/3 cup of chopped onions
2/3 cup chopped red bell pepper (or whatever color you prefer) 
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
2 cloves of chopped garlic 

1. Put the rice in a pot with the water and broth. Once the water has come to a boil, cover it and bring to a simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes. 
2. While the rice is cooking, put the vegetable oil, onions, garlic, and peppers in a saute pan. When the onions have become somewhat see through, add the tomato sauce - bring to a simmer. Once the rice is finished cooking, toss it in with the sauce. Add the chopped tomato and cilantro (or parsley). Cover which cooking the dillas.

Chicken Quesadillas
A bowl of my homemade mango tomato salsa
Chicken thighs (you can use breasts or any other part of the chicken but the tights are dark meat which makes them really juicy and tender. I also think they might be cheaper too which is super groovy considering I’m poor)
Salt and pepper
Fontina and America cheese (fontina is in the fancier cheese section and you can usually get America in the deli section. I’m telling you this because I honestly spend 20 minutes in the grocery looking for these damn cheeses. If you are in New Orleans don’t even waste your time at Winn Dixie – which can actually go for all cheeses in general)

1. Since you are dealing with meat – first WASH YOUR HANDS. Then cut off the fat on the thighs (because they will be covered in it. You can’t exclude this step. There is too much fat. If you don’t want to spend time doing that just get breasts but it won’t taste as good I promise). Then slice the thighs into smallish, pretty uniform slivers. WASH YOUR HANDS AGAIN.
2. Put at least a tablespoon of butter in a skillet. Toss in the slivers and cook over medium heat until the chicken has turn someone grey and you can easily cut the chicken in half using something dull) This won’t take too long since the slices are thin. (less than 5 minutes).
3. Set the Chicken aside. Add at least another half a tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Lay down the tortilla. On one half, sprinkle some cheese – then the chicken then the salsa then some more cheese.  (also think of the cheese like glue. Be liberal with it or it will fall apart) Let the tortilla get a little crispy, flip it. Crisp it some more. Slide it on a plate, cut in half. Dollop of daisy. yu-um 

this was my first one. Definitely not crispy enough but still delicious!

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