Grilled Chicken with Chicken, Tomatoes & Onions

I was all set to share some cupcakes today; I always like to end the week with a sweet treat, it just seems fitting on Friday.  The other day, however, I was talking to a friend who commented that he wished I’d post more savory recipes on this blog.  I’ve always struggled to balance the savory with the sweet here, and I know things still lean heavily to the dessert side but what can I say, I like to bake :)  I’m planning to do a poll on my Facebook page about this topic soon, but if you’d like to weigh-in below in the comments, I’d love to hear your opinions.  Would you like to see more savory recipes?

After some thought, I decided to go savory today to switch things up and also because I loved these quesadillas.  Well, to be honest, I love all quesadillas, but this is a great homemade version to add to your repertoire.

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I wish I could claim the idea to grill the quesadillas as my own, but I can’t take any credit for it.  It originated from a tweet I saw the other day from Denise at Fine Cooking.  Denise linked to an article on Fine Cooking’s site, which suggested ideas for new foods to grill this summer.  I think most foods taste even better with a little char from the grill, and these quesadillas were no exception.  The chicken is coated with a super quick wet rub before it hits the grill, which ends up adding a lot of nice flavor in the quesadillas.  I used grilled onions and tomatoes in my quesadillas – I like to load them up with lots of onions so it doesn’t leave much room for other fillings.  Like many of the best dishes, though, you can easily switch up the fillings to suit your tastes and whatever happens to be lingering in your fridge that day.  In case you’re wondering, I have also made this recipe indoors using a grill pan and it’s delicious that way too so you really can’t go wrong!

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Grilled Quesadillas with Grilled Chicken, Tomatoes and Onions
adapted from Annie’s Eats (who adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride)

1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves

1 large yellow onion, cut into thick slices
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
Corn tortillas
Shredded cheese (pepper jack, cheddar, or whatever you prefer)

Preheat your grill to medium-high (about 400-450 F).  Oil the grates of the grill (I use paper towels and hold them with tongs.)

In a wide, shallow dish, combine the chili powder, parsley, olive oil, lime juice, salt, cumin and red pepper flakes.  Whisk to combine.  Add the chicken to the wet rub, turning to coat.  Place the chicken on the preheated grill and cook for about 6-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through (the chicken should register about 165 F on an instant read thermometer).  Transfer the chicken to a plate and let rest for 5-10 minutes, then shred into bite-sized pieces.  Cook the onions until softened and golden brown either by using a grill basket or by threading the onions on a skewer, brushing well with olive oil and placing directly on the grill grates.  (You could also cook the onions on the stove top in a skillet, if you prefer).  Maintain grill temperature.

Put the tortillas on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave for about 25 seconds to make them pliable – you may want to do this in batches as you assemble them.  Brush one side of the tortilla with olive oil.  Place the tortilla oiled side down on your work surface, and top half of the tortilla with the chicken, tomato, and onion then the shredded cheese.  Fold the tortilla in half to cover the filling.  Repeat to use remaining filling and make as many quesadillas as desired.

Oil the grill grates one more time then place the assembled quesadillas on the grill.  Cook until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are browned on the outside – about 2 minutes per side.  Slice into wedges and serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or your favorite toppings.