Chicken · entree · Mexican

Barbecue Chicken Quesadillas

We’ve finally gotten a break from the unbearable heat and it’s a long one, to boot. One whole week of nice, cool 80 degree temperatures is exactly what the doctor ordered for this state!

With the cool down and school starting back up again, I figured it was the perfect time to celebrate the waning days of summer. Barbecue is the best idea, but seeing as I haven’t touched our little cheap grill in over a year, I’ve had to take my barbecue inside.

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Rob picked up this amazing barbecue sauce while he was in Kansas City for his bachelor party. If you know anything about Kansas City, and you happen to be a brew fan, you know that Boulevard reigns as king of the beer there. It’s not my favorite beer (sorry, I’m a Shiner/Lone Star fan through-in-through) but apparently they make a damn good barbecue sauce! It’s not too sweet, not too tangy, and has the famed KC pilsner as a main ingredient.

I’ve been concocting barbecue recipes to go with our new cherished pantry item. What’s better than BBQ chicken? I can’t just make regular barbecue chicken…no, no. It had to be something special.

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Have you ever had those California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken pizzas? They’re probably my favorite frozen pizzas of all time. Apparently there are actual stand alone restaurants, too, but I’ve never happened upon them.

I wasn’t feeling pizza for my prized barbecue sauce though, I still needed something more fantastic to make. Why not the CPK BBQ chicken in quesadilla form?? Greatest. Idea. Ever.

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The CPK pizza has four main ingredients: barbecue sauce, chicken, red onion, and a smoked gouda cheese blend. So, I gathered up what I needed and got to work.

Instead of cubing the chicken, I shredded it and drenched it in barbecue sauce. I mixed up a blend of smoked gouda cheese with some mozzarella, and a delicious creation was born. I think I might actually like the quesadilla version of my favorite pizza BETTER than the actual pizza!

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BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A copy-cat version of California Pizza Kitchen's famed barbecue chicken pizza, in quesadilla form.

Ingredients

  • 10-12 regular sized tortillas
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 TBS. olive oil
  • 1 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, plus more for serving

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Season chicken breast with smoked paprika, salt, pepper and onion powder. Cook chicken in skillet for 4-5 minutes per side, until chicken is no longer pink.
  2. Using two forks or a stand mixer, shred cooked chicken. Put chicken in a large bowl and toss with barbecue sauce.
  3. Toss gouda and mozzarella together in a small bowl. Build the quesadillas: take one tortilla, and sprinkle about 1/4 cup cheese mix on top. Sprinkle a tablespoon of diced onion on top, plus a few spoonfuls of barbecue chicken. Top with a sprinkle of cheese mix.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add quesadilla and top with another tortilla. Press down with a spatula for 30 seconds. Cook on one side for about a minute or two, until browned. Flip, and continue cooking for another minute until the other side is browned too. Repeat with the rest of your quesadillas. Serve with a side of barbecue sauce.

Step-By-Step Instructions

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Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Season chicken breast with smoked paprika, salt, pepper and onion powder. Cook chicken in skillet for 4-5 minutes per side, until chicken is no longer pink.

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Using two forks or a stand mixer, shred cooked chicken. Put chicken in a large bowl and toss with barbecue sauce.

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Toss gouda and mozzarella together in a small bowl.

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Build the quesadillas: take one tortilla, and sprinkle about 1/4 cup cheese mix on top. Sprinkle a tablespoon of diced onion on top, plus a few spoonfuls of barbecue chicken. Top with a sprinkle of cheese mix.

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Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add quesadilla and top with another tortilla. Press down with a spatula for 30 seconds. Cook on one side for about a minute or two, until browned. Flip, and continue cooking for another minute until the other side is browned too. Repeat with the rest of your quesadillas. Serve with a side of barbecue sauce.

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