The spring and summer of 2011 were glorious ones full of excessive drinking and cheap eats. My group of friends and I would frequent one of our favorite Brooklyn Bars pretty much every Monday night for the Classic country night. These weeknights of drinking were excessive in manner and ran late into the evening, probably too late for a Monday night, which always entailed some late night food especially because we would usually not eat between work and meeting at the bar. There were a few great options of food close by but one of our favorites for its awesomeness and pure convenience was the taco truck in the bar backyard. My item of choice was the Chicken Quesadilla. The chicken was tender, tasty, and perfect in my quesadilla. As time went on and our weekly tradition faded I still wanted that delicious chicken quesadilla with out having to go to the bar and with this desire the Taco Truck Chicken recipe came about.
This chicken is pretty quick to make, you can vary it endlessly, and it is great in everything.
This makes enough chicken to make 4-6 quesadillas
½ Medium Red Onion – Diced
4 Cloves of Garlic -Minced
3 Whole Plum Tomatoes (fresh in season or canned out of season) – De-seeded and Diced
3-4 Sprigs Fresh Cilantro – Chiffonaded
½ Jalapeno – Minced
Lime -Juice of
Can of Light Beer (I used Tecate but Budweiser or something similar works too)
1-Tablespoon Valentina Hot Sauce
2 Chicken Breasts
Salt to Taste
Dice all of your vegetables, keeping the onion and garlic together and the tomato in a separate bowl.
Add the juice of half a lime to the tomato and some salt (about 1/4 tsp)
Heat up a medium sauce pan and when warm add the butter, onions, and garlic. Let them cook until they start getting a little color and then add the the tomato, jalapeno, and cilantro and mix.
Add the chicken on top of of this mixture and add some salt. Cover with 8 to 10 oz (depending on the pan you are using) of beer to almost cover the chicken.
Cook on low until the chicken is mostly cooked through. Once cooked remove the chicken to a cutting board.
Turn up the heat on the remaining liquid in the pan, reduce the liquid by half.
While the ‘salsa’ mixture is reducing cut the chicken into small pieces.
Once the liquid is reduced add the Valentina hot sauce and mix in. Add the chicken back in and cook the rest of the way through.
Now your chicken is done and you can use it how every you would like. I love Quesadillas and I have explained how I prepare mine below. This is also great to mix in with rice and melt cheese on top, in tacos, or as a base to a tortilla soup.
The Chicken (see above)
Tortillas (flour or corn)
Quesadilla Cheese (or other good melting cheese) Grated
Heat up a skillet so it is nice and hot, I prefer a cast iron pan. While the pan is heating up prepare your quesadilla for the pan. On top of one tortilla I add a layer of cheese , some of the chicken and tomato with out the liquid, and a bit more cheese and top off with the second tortilla.
Once the pan is hot add enough butter so that when it melts it covers the pan, add your prepared quesadilla to the pan.
Cook until the first side is browned and then flip and cook the other side until brown.
Remove from the pan onto a cutting board, while the cheese is still hot lift up the tortilla and add sour cream and flip the whole quesadilla and let it sit until it cools slightly.
Cut into 4 pieces and enjoy!