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Anthony O'SHAUGHNESSY

Badass Geordie cook eating his way around the world. 

Roast Chicken & Salsa Verde Quesadillas

Roast Chicken & Salsa Verde Quesadillas

Quesadillas are the ultimate lazy-boy dinner. Effectively a Mexican grilled cheese sandwich, any leftover meal is just a tortilla away from being a delectable bite to eat. 

Interestingly, I got this recipe from a girl I met when I travelling Italy called Tracey. She was there to explore who family roots in Naples, and we buddied up to explore the city. She was from San Diego, and she told me about one of her favourite things to eat which was a quesadilla filled with a shredded rotisserie chicken and salsa verde. Tracey gave me her recipe for salsa verde, which wasn't like Mexican salsa verde, which uses green tomatoes (tomatillos). Instead it was more Italianate, like an Argentine chimichurri (which does in fact have Italian heritage), using fresh herbs. Perhaps this was her Italian ancestry coming through, who knows? Either way, it works well. 

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Of course this is a wonderful recipe if you have leftover chicken, but delicious enough to warrant going out and buying a juicy rotisserie chicken from a supermarket. Whichever way you go about it, shred the meat with your hands and enjoy the salty roast chicken juice on your fingers afterwards! 

This roast chicken is combined with green-hot and herbal salsa verde which soaks the meat in flavour. It's then spread across one side of a corn tortilla, matted in cheese, folded and slammed onto into a searing-hot pan. The cheese would typically be Oaxaca or Chihuahua, a milky, stringy cheese. These are hard to come by outside of Mexico or the US, so they next best thing is grated, dried mozzarella. Fresh mozzarella wouldn't be so good here. It leaks too much liquid during cooking and will make soggy quesadillas. What you're after is a hot, crisp sandwich filled with stringy cheese and moist, flavour-packed roast chicken. You can win some hearts with this one.

ROAST CHICKEN & SALSA VERDE QUESADILLAS

  • 4-6 large Corn Tortillas
  • 250g ready-grated Mozzarella
  • 1 small Rotisserie Chicken, shredded
  • 1 bunch fresh Coriander
  • 1 bunch fresh Parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • 4 Spring Onions
  • 1 green Chilli or Jalapeños
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoons Sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. We'll begin with the salsa verde. A food processor or mini chopper is best for this. Take your parsley, coriander and stuff them into the processor. Add in a teaspoon of dried oregano, a green chilli or jalapeños (remove the seeds if you prefer milder heat!), 4 spring onions, a teaspoon of cumin and 2 cloves of garlic. Pour in 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Clunk the lid on and whizz until you have a fairly loose, pourable sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a teaspoon of sugar to add a kick. Leave it to sit to gain in flavour.
  2. As the salsa verde sits, take your chicken - leftover roast chicken or a bought rotisserie chicken - shred the meat into a bowl. Pour the salsa verde into the shredded chicken and mix until everything is slicked in green sauce.
  3. Take some corn tortillas and a large chopping board. On one half of the tortilla, spread a handful of the salsa verde-soaked chicken. Press it down fairly flat so there are no bulging bits. Take a handful of grated mozzarella and sprinkle over the top of the chicken so there are only a few bits of green peeking through. Take the empty side of the tortilla and fold it over the top of the chicken and cheese, making a semi-circle sandwich, Press it flat to make sure everything is glued shut.
  4. Heat a griddle pan, or a frying pan to a medium-high heat - no need to add any oil. Once hot, take your folded quesadillas - two at a a time - and slam them onto the hot metal. Fry for approximately a minute before flipping over, but be vigilant they don't burn. Every few seconds, press down hard onto the quesadilla with a spatula to make sure all of the flavour is ironed throughout.
  5. Serve straight away, hot, while the cheese is molten and gooey. Serve with some chilli sauce to swipe at if you want to take the heat up a notch!
When preparing the tortillas, add a dribble of cooking oil to the board first and wipe it around with your fingers first. Greasing the outside of the tortilla allows it to become extra crisp when it hits the pan.
— ANTHONY'S SHOCK TIP
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