So we're in the grocery store yesterday and I asked the boys what they wanted for dinner. The oldest chirped up that he wanted Taco Bell. As we're trying to cut costs, I told him we'd try to make something like it. He usually just gets the cheese quesadilla, but last time he tried his brother's chicken quesadilla. He discovered that chicken is better. So that's what he wanted, with some spice and melty cheese, but not too melty. This it the task I was given. I didn't do too badly, but I think I'd marinate the chicken for a few hours instead of the half hour I had available.
Everyone but the oldest likes a side of rice from Taco Bell. so I threw together a quick Cheater's Spanish Rice. I think it actually turned out better than some of the box mixes. It's nowhere near authentic, but it's not too bad in a pinch. Add a jar of queso and some tortilla chips and the boys all got what they would have had at Taco Bell less than half the cost and there is some left over.
2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup vinegar
few dashes Liquid Smoke
1/2 pkg. Mexican Velveeta, diced
shredded Mexican blend cheese
Combine the salsa, vinegar, and Liquid Smoke in a quart zip top bag. Add the chicken breasts and marinate 4 hours or so.
Cook the chickens breasts (skillet, grill, whatever) discarding the marinate. If you cook the chicken in a skillet, add some water toward the end of cooking if the pan starts smoking (mine did from the marinate). Slice the chicken thinly and cut into bite-sized pieces.
To assemble the quesadillas, spoon some salsa on the tortilla and spread out. Sprinkle in some of the Velveeta and shredded cheese. Add the chicken to half of the tortilla and fold in half. Cook in a nonstick skillet with cooking spray or on and electric griddle until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Cheater's Spanish Rice
1 cup Minute Rice
1/2 cup salsa
3/4 cup water
salt & pepper, to taste
Combine the rice, salsa and water. Microwave for 5 minutes. Add a bit more water if needed and cook 1 minute more. Fluff and serve.