Or how to make one small chicken breast feed two hungry people. There were TWO pieces of chicken originally, but a lightening raid by one small, extremely naughty cat resulted, after a blast of the water pistol (the "Tommy" gun) and a few cross words , in a slight change of plan. To the rescue came the most unlikely of ingredients, pumpkin.
I had a small piece sitting in the fridge , which roasted with the addition of chilli & salt, I figured would work well with the chicken in a tortilla. Some red pepper, a simple salsa of red onion, tomato & lime, and dinner is on the way.
Chilli pumpkin & chicken quesadilla (NOT enchilada)
1 chicken breast
1 Tbsp Tio Pablo Spice Mix or make your own (see below)
1 small piece of pumpkin or squash (creates about a 1-1/2 cups cubed)
Salt & pepper
2 x Splash olive oil
Pinch chilli flakes
1/2 red pepper, sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
Handful grated cheese
Fresh chilli (optional)
4 flour tortillas
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground coriander
Don't stress if you don't have every spice, what I was going for was a mixture of hot but sweet spicy, hence the inclusion of cinnamon, and you can adjust the amount of chili to suit, if you are cooking for kids or the heat intolerant. And if you really cant be bothered just toss the chicken with some spalt, pepper, chilli flakes & a squeeze of lime, it will be delish......
Now, for dinner.........
Preheat your oven to 190C
On a baking tray mix your cubes of pumpkin with salt, pepper, a splash of oil & a sprinkle of chilli flakes, then bake for approx 20 mins until soft & slightly charred
Chop your chicken breast into chunks, and mix together with another small splash of olive oil, and your spice mix. At this point your can put the chicken in the fridge until you are ready to cook, or fry immediately.
Heat a non stick fry pan to medium, and add your chicken , frying for approx 8-10 minutes until almost cooked through. Add the peppers & spring onions, and fry again for another couple of minutes until the peppers are cooked and starting to brown on the edges. Add your pumpkin chunks to this mixture & set aside onto a plate. Wipe out your fry pan with kitchen towel, and place back on the heat.
Lay your tortilla directly onto the pan, then put half the chicken mix on top. Sprinkle with cheese, and chilli if you want more spice, then pop the other tortilla on top, pressing down firmly.
After about 4-5 mins, carefully slide a fish slice or similar wide tool under the tortilla, and using your hand for guidance, flip over. You will think it is going to fall apart, but the cheese acts as a sort of glue, holding everything together, so don't stress. Give it another couple of minutes on the other side, then slide onto a board, and chop into quarters.
Great served with sour cream and the following salsa
Fresh tomato salsa
Simply mix together the following, tasting until you are happy with the zip factor4-6 tomatoes, I used cherry tomatoes, but whatever you have
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ -1 red onion, skinned and finely chopped (I don’t like huge chunks of onion) If you don’t have red onions, use spring onions
Big squeeze of lime juice
Salt & pepper
Perfect for eating while watching a game of rugby don't you think? Especially if you can get someone else to make them, very easy!
Pumpkin naturally should work with Mexican flavours. Pumpkin seeds have been found in Mexico dating back to between 7000-5500 BC, they have been cooking it for quite some time. I love the sweetness when it is combined with chilli and salt. In fact I use pumpkin roasted this way as a base for soup, and tossed through salads for colour and substance.
To finish, a shot of Spring colour, I love the combination of yellow & aqua blue, so pretty. Hope you are having a great week.