Monday, July 22, 2013

BBQ Chicken Chili with Pineapple Pepper-Jack Quesadillas

Chili? In JULY? you're saying right now. To which I heartily respond: YES! Chili in JULY! It's BBQ chicken chili, and since I associate BBQ'ed anything with summer, I believe this a perfectly acceptable dish for the season. Of course, Joe did point out that I actually made this on the hottest day of the summer so far, which we both found a little ironic -- but it didn't stop either of us from chowing down. 

The idea for this chili actually came to me in the middle of the night. I woke up with it on my mind and added it to the notes area of my phone and promptly forgot about it. When I was browsing that section a few days later, I came across the idea and had absolutely no recollection of putting in there. In any case, I'm glad I did, because this chili is smoky, sweet, tangy, and spicy, and we both loved it. The BBQ sauce works so well with the chili spices. I love the flavor of pineapple and BBQ sauce, so I thought the quesadillas were the perfect balance to the chili. The pepper-jack gave them a great heat, and Joe and I agreed that we both could have eaten just the quesadillas for a meal and been very happy.

Not to discount this chili, though. We certainly were happy to have it for dinner, even if it was 95 degrees outside.

BBQ Chicken Chili with Pineapple Pepper-Jack Quesadillas

For the chili:

4 strips bacon, chopped
1 pound chicken tenders, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup beer
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup chipotle or hickory BBQ sauce
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can corn, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained

Sour cream, cilantro, and shredded cheddar cheese for topping

For the quesadillas:

4 flour tortillas
4 tablespoons crushed pineapple, well-drained
1 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese

1. Add the bacon to a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook until crispy; using a slotted spoon, remove and place on a paper towel to drain.

2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and added to the bacon drippings. Cook until browned and cooked through, then place on the paper towel with the bacon. 

3. Add the butter to the pot, then add the red onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the beer to the pot, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits. 

4. Add the chicken stock, BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, vinegar and brown sugar. Heat to bubbling, then reduce heat to medium-low and add the corn, beans, and reserved bacon and chicken. Cook over medium-low heat until desired thickness.

5. To make the quesadillas, add 1/4 of a cup of cheese to half of a tortilla and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of pineapple; fold over. Cook in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray until both sides are browned. Cut into wedges.

6. Serve chili topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and cilantro, with the quesadillas on the side.

1 comment:

Jessica Jarrell said...

I just found your blog, and I am quickly hooked. This chili looks delicious, I will definitely have to give it a try!