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Blackened Chicken Quesadillas & Cranberry Mango Salsa

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“Not just a 'summer' dish, the oranges, reds, and greens in this make for a gorgeous harvest feast as well. The salsa is a wonderful blend of tart, sweet, and spicy and goes well against the cool flavor of the cheese (I often omit the chicken and make vegetarian quesadillas). Despite the long list of directions, this is not overly complex to make...but tastes like it should be. Originally posted by Mean Chef.”
1hr 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the Salsa (yields about 3 cups):
  2. Toss the cranberries with the brown sugar then chop coarsley in a food processor, transfer to a heat resistant bowl and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine granulated sugar and water over medium-high heat; bring to a boil while stirring; once boiling, stop stirring and allow to cook for 3 minutes, then immediately pour syrup over cranberries and allow to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, peel and dice kiwi and mango.
  5. Combine mango, kiwi, red onion,cilantro, lime juice, serrano chile, garlic and honey; mix well and add to cranberry mixture.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.
  7. For the Quesadillas:
  8. Place blackening seasoning in a shallow dish.
  9. Between two sheets of plastic wrap, flatten chicken breasts with a meat mallet or heavy skillet to a flat even thickness; rub each breast with a few drops of oil and dredge in the blackening seasoning to coat.
  10. Heat 1 tbl of peanut oil in a heavy skillet over high heat; add chicken and cook until blackened on both sides and cooked through- set aside to rest.
  11. In a separate skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat, add onions and saute until just translucent; turn heat to low and cook for 15 minutes until onions are soft but not browned.
  12. Stir in basil and honey and cook for 5 more minutes.
  13. Add chicken broth and turn up heat high enough for broth to simmer; cook until almost all of the broth has evaporated; remove from heat and set aside.
  14. Slice chicken into small pieces and mix with onions.
  15. To assemble: Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese on one tortilla, then spoon on 1/4 of the chicken mixture; sprinkle with 2 tbl more cheese and place another tortilla on top.
  16. Lightly brush a skillet with peanut oil and heat over medium high heat; slide the quesadilla into the skillet and heat until cheese begins to melt; brush upper tortilla with peanut oil and flip quesadilla in skillet.
  17. When cheese is melted, remove from skillet, cut into quarters and serve with cranberry-mango salsa.
  18. Note: quesadillas (top brushed with oil) can also be cooked on a parchment lined sheet pan in a 350 degree oven until cheese melts.

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