Teriyaki Chicken Quesadillas

On a social media network in one of the food groups that I participate in, I was invited to a cook off by a professional chef.


I know! Intimidating, right?! Here I am, an amateur at best and here's a professional chef asking me to be a part of an experimental challenge! 

It would have been intimidating had he not been so nice about the whole thing. Very supportive. Thanks for that R. 

And my dear readers, my bffs, you know me... I love me a good challenge! 

The conditions for this were very simple. We had to cook a fusion dish comprising of non Indian cuisine. The resultant dish would also therefore be non Indian. We had one week each to pull it off and that too in the comfort of my own home! 

And since I'm miss-goody-two-shoes, I am done with my dish for the challenge (well within the 7 days that I was supposed to) and as soon as I get my hands on Mr. Chef's dish, rather the pictures of them, I will upload them here as well.   

Allow me to introduce what I came up with

I came up with Teriyaki Chicken Quesadillas. I wanted to make a combination that was pretty unique in itself and yet so surprisingly harmonious. 

Imagine the Asian flavours melding with the bold Mexican flavours. Who'd have thunk it! 

The flavours worked so well with each other that I am going to make this a staple in my kitchen. There's also a surprise ingredient which doesn't belong to any of the two cuisines. Stay tuned to find out, or scroll down in this case! 

On another note, don't challenges just excite you in life?!

Update: Here's Mr Chef's creation! Creativity unleashed is all I can say! Was a pleasure and a thrill to compete Mr Chef! :)  

The Bannock Bread (Saskatchewan, Canada); Salsa di Pizza (Naples, Italy) ; both of these made like a Pisaladiere (French)

Jollof Rice (Senegambia, West Africa) ; qorma paste (Peer kalai, Afghanistan) ; drop of habanero concasse (Italian + Mexican)

On to my recipe then! 

Serves: 4

Complexity: ***

Time taken: 45 mins (including prep)

You'll need

for the Chicken

2 chicken breasts
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2-3 tbsp of teriyaki sauce
salt to taste
1" pc of ginger, grated
sesame seed oil to drizzle
pinch of love 

For the veggies

1 red bell pepper, chopped roughly
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped roughly
4-5 spring onions/ scallions, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
1/2  tbsp garlic pwder
1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp butter
splash of teriyaki sauce
handful of peanuts, coarsely chopped
salt (optional)
coriander leaves

For the quesadillas

Tortillas (for homemade tortillas recipe, go here)
Slices of Gouda cheese
Mozzarella cheese, grated
sesame seeds, toasted

To serve

Sweet chili sauce infused with coriander leaves
mango cubes


Meet the cast that makes this fabulous dish! 

To prep the chicken, wash and pat dry. 

Pierce it with a fork so the marinade can make its way in. 

Add garlic powder to the chicken breasts. I love me my garlic. Garlic and I are bffs. 

Add the smoked paprika 

Splash the hoisin sauce over this

And the teriyaki sauce....mmmm... teriyaki and chicken- match made in heaven

Some salt, don't go overboard since the sauce already has soy sauce. 

Grate the ginger piece

Add in your pinch of love. Drizzle some sesame seed oil. 

Give everything a good rub. you can make out the chicken's been moved about in the plate. Cover and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or more. I usually let this sit for 3-4 hours before its time to cook.

For the veggies, take a skillet, and put a knob of butter on medium heat.

To this add all the vegetables together 

Add the garlic powder

The smoked paprika

The teriyaki sauce 

Peanuts to give it added texture

Now when I was making this, I had forgotten to add the red onions initially. But please don't be like me. 

See how we are almost duplicating the flavours of the chicken. This not only intensifies the flavour but you will also have everything evenly seasoned. Don't let the veggies sit in the skillet for too long. Just about 2 minutes and you're done. 

Remove to a bowl. Now add the greens of the scallions

And the coriander leaves. This helps preserve their freshness and their colours. 

When you're ready to cook the chicken, heat the same skillet in which you sauteed veggies. Add a tsp of oil to it, I used olive oil.

Place the chicken breasts in the skillet. You should hear them sizzle. If it doesn't sizzle, the pan's not hot enough. 

Let the chicken breast cook for 2-3 minutes on one side

Turn it over and let it cook for about 2 minutes till the juices run clear. This should give you incredibly juicy, tender, perfectly cooked chicken. 

Now here's a neat trick! You don't want to loose out on those tasty juicy bits that are left at the bottom of the pan. You won't be able to scrape them out either. What you can do is remove the pan to a cooler surface. Don't remove the chicken breasts from it. cover the pan with a lid for a couple of minutes. This will allow those tasty bits to dislodge from the pan and they can be then scraped out very easily. 

When the chicken is a little cooled down, take two forks and shred away. I used a knife and fork and cut it up roughly.

To assemble the quesadillas, in a larger skillet, throw in some sesame seeds and dry roast them till they turn golden in colour

Add a tiny bit of butter to the roasted seeds and let it melt. Turn the heat to a medium low

Place your tortilla on this and give it a good press so the seeds adhere to the tortilla's surface. We want the tortillas to crisp up nicely.

I had gouda slices on hand 

Tear one slice up and place randomly on tortilla

Grate mozzarella cheese over it and please imagine I took a picture of it

Next spoon a couple table spoons of the sauteed vegetables and spread evenly

Place the cut chicken over it.

Place the second tortilla over this and smear some butter on that. 

Very carefully flip the quesadilla to crisp up the second side as well. remove it after a couple minutes till everything has settled down and crisped up. 

Cut the tortillas into four with a pizza cutter. 

I served these with sweet chili sauce that I had infused with coriander leaves and cubes of sweet mango to resonate the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce. 

Here's a peek inside!

Yumm yumm yumm...'nuff said. Indulge! 


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