Saturday, January 24, 2009

Seared Chicken with Squash Quesadilla

A friend in Seattle saw this on Martha Stewart, and her little boy who was watching with her insisted that they make it that very night. She shared the recipe with me, and it became an instant hit. I have made this so many times, I now have to let some time elapse in-between so it can seem fresh to me again. (I usually make just the quesadillas, which is a meatless meal, but the chicken is good as well.)

2 T. e.v. olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and sliced crosswise into 1/4" slices
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes
4 chicken breasts
2 T. plus 1/4 t. garlic, minced
1 lime, cut into 8 slices
1 t. unsalted butter
1/4 t. ground cumin
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into rounds
8 oz. goat cheese
6 12" tortillas
2 sprigs cilantro (I use much more)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle 1 1/2 t. olive oil on a baking sheet. Place the squash pieces on top. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Roast until fork tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile prepare the chicken; season with salt and pepper. Place 1/4 t. garlic and 2 slices of lime under the tender of each breast. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and 1 t. olive oil. Place the chicken in the skillet, tender-side up. Add the remaining 1 T. minced garlic, cumin and the juice from half a lime to the pan. Cook until firm and golden brown, about 6 minutes per side; after the first 6 minutes, squeeze the remaining lime half over the chicken and turn.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the jalapeno slices for 4 minutes on each side. Set aside. Prepare the quesadillas: arrange squash slices on half of tortillas, top with jalapeno slices, goat cheese and cilantro. Heat until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

1 comment:

Cascia said...

Sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing.