A weird..no, unique food junkie, that is. I don’t want to say ‘weird’..have you ever noticed that the word kind of turns people off? Like, if you called some complete stranger on the street weird, I would have no interest in meeting them, but if you said unique- I would definitly be more inclined to make the effort to say hello. Same in this instance. You slap a menu in front of me, and have some kind of unique and different item surrounded by basic chicken, fish, pasta dishes, etc..I would go for the one that was different. For example, I ate a pear and gorgonzola stuffed ravioli once at an excellent Italian place.. a little sweet, but I would order it again.
Last week I was contemplating cereal for dinner when I remembered I had some left over grilled chicken in the fridge. I pulled it out, and thought..’what can I do with this?’ Well, two flour tortillas and some honey bbq sauce later, I had dinner..and a new recipe (Yep, thats how its done, folks.) Sweet and Savory foods go quite well with each other, especially when the savory is an animal protein and the sweet is the natural goodness of fruit. It isn’t as weird as you think! Sweet and Sour Chicken..made with fruit juice and has diced pineapple in the mix..ORANGE chicken..apples in your Thanksgiving dressing..typical, but I think we forget that it is typical. The natural sugars and sweetness of the fruit intensifys when it cooks, and in turn, we have created a sharp, and intense flavor to pair with the protein without a lot of added fat and seasonings. So, I encourage and challenge you to give my uniquie dish a shot, if you don’t like it, thats okay :) You can at least say, you gave it a try..and if you like it- I hope it will incline you to move a little outside the box on your next go round with a unique food!!
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
3 tbsp ginger root, peeled and minced
1 tsp canola/olive oil
1/2 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup fresh apricots (canned is okay to use, drain and rinse)
2 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
3 (4oz) chicken breast (boneless,skinless)
4 (10 inch) 98% fat free flour tortillas
Cook shallots and ginger in oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and boil until reduced by about half, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, preserves, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Removed from heat, allow to cool. Reserve about 1 cup of apricot mixture. Place chicken in a large sealable bags and pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag, pressing out excess air, and marinate, chilled, turning bag over occasionally, at least 2 hours.
Line a shallow heavy baking pan with a sheet of foil, then lightly oil foil. Arrange chicken (with marinade) in 1 layer in pan. Roast chicken, turning once, until deep brown, cooked through, and glazed, about 25 minutes total. Removed from oven and allow to cool slightly. Shredded chicken in medium sized bowl. Pour in about 1/2 of reserved marinade, mixing well. Gradually heat a large skillet over medium heat. Put one tortilla in the pan and immediately sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over half of it. Quickly arrange about 1/4 the fresh apricot slices over the cheese, then top with 1/4 of the chicken mixture, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with another 2 tablespoons of cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filled half and press gently on it with a spatula to seal. Heat the quesadilla until the bottom is golden, about 2 minutes, then carefully flip and lightly brown the other side. Slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board and cut it into halves or quarters. Prepare the remaining in the same fashion. You may use reserved marinade as a dip for the quesadillas.