This was an absolute triumph and there is something so satisfyingly healthy and fresh about Mexican Food that I absolutely love. This is my version of Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas and believe me, when I did my research there were a million versions! I purposely kept this one super simple, using mainly store bought ingredients and my very own Mexican Spice Blend that I use in nearly all things Mexican. It is way better than the Old El` Paso varieties as you know exactly what is in it and I like to make a large batch and store it in the cupboard in a jar so I always have it on hand. To serve, I made a simple, fresh Charred Corn & Avocado Salsa that seriously delivered on all levels. This is such a great family meal…….so simple to make and really delicious!
I started out cooking this recipe in my pressure cooker but it actually gave up the ghost about 5 minutes in. I then transferred it to a large covered pan and cooked it very gently on the stove top. This is suitable for the slow cooker too, just brown off your onion, garlic and chilli first.
Prep time: 30 Minutes
Cooking time: 35 Minutes (Pressure Cooker) 5 Hours on Low (slow Cooker) 50 Minutes (Stove top)
$$ Medium Budget
Serves 4 – 6 (If serving 4, leftovers are fantastic for lunch the next day)
For the Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas:
Olive oil for frying
600gm of chicken breast fillets
1 large brown onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 long green chilli, seeds removed and finely diced
1 heaped tbs of Em’s Mexican Spice Blend
1/2 a jar of Chipotle Chillies in Adobo Sauce
400gm bottle of tomato passata
Juice of 1 lime
A tsp of sugar
Sea salt & pepper
400gm tin of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 packet of Jumbo Tortillas
1 packet of Mexican Blend Grated Cheese
Baby rocket leaves, coriander (or baby herbs) and lime wedges to serve
For the Charred Corn & Avocado Salsa:
2 whole fresh corn cobs, husks removed
1-2 avocado’s, halved, peeled and diced
1 long green chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
1/2 a small red onion, very finely diced
A handful of coriander, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Sea salt & pepper
To make the filling for the Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas heat a large frying pan (one with a lid) and add a little oil. Gently fry the onion until translucent and then add the garlic and green chilli, frying for a further minute or two. Add the Em’s Mexican Spice Blend and stir to combine before pouring in the chipotle chillies in Adobo and the passata. Squeeze in the lime juice and season with sugar, salt and pepper and stir to combine all of the ingredients before placing the chicken breasts in the sauce. Bring to a low simmer and cover with a lid, gently poaching the chicken for about 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the sauce and leave the lid off to continue to simmer. Add the drained black beans to the sauce at this point. Once the chicken has cooled slightly, shred it apart with two forks and then pop it back in the pan and mix it in with the black beans and sauce.
While the chicken is poaching, make the Charred Corn Salsa. Heat a griddle pan or BBQ and cook the corn on all sides until tender and lightly charred, set aside and allow to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, stand the corn cobs upright and run your knife down the sides, as close to the cob as possible. Place the kernels in a bowl and gently toss through the avocado, onion, chilli and coriander. Dress with the lime juice and season with salt & pepper.
To assemble the Quesadillas, place a small handful of grated cheese in the centre of the jumbo tortillas and top with a generous helping of the chicken mixture. Fold the ends in and then the sides to make a nice parcel. Heat a frypan and add a little oil, fry the parcels, join side down first, until golden. Keep warm in a low oven and repeat with the remaining parcels.
To serve, cut the parcels in half on the diagonal and pop on a plate with a pile of baby rocket leaves. Spoon the salsa over the top and serve with fresh lime wedges and coriander leaves or baby herbs.