02 June 2012

Chicken Quesapizza

I just made and ate this and I enjoyed it so much I felt the need to blog about it like I was some kind of culinary savant. I wish there were photos to accompany this one, but not having anticipated going gaga over the final product, I didn't think there would be any reason to take pictures along the way. The next time I make this, I'll try to have the presence of mind to photograph it.

Chicken Quesapizza

Step 1: Grill a bag of southwestern chicken in a skillet. If you only have unseasoned chicken, then open another tab and run a Google search to find out how to make it southwestern-y. If you use a non-stick skillet (as I do), you don't even really need to add anything; not even spray. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the skillet and set it aside for just a moment.

Step 2: Add a little vegetable oil to the skillet. Push it around with a spatula or whatever until you've got it more or less across the bottom. Now place a flour tortilla in the vegetable oil.

Step 3: Take a slice of Swiss cheese, rip or cut it in half diagonally so that you have two triangle shaped pieces of cheese. Lay them on your tortilla, with a little space between them. Cover the cheese and the space between with the chicken. Place a second tortilla atop all this.

Step 4: Give it a few minutes until the bottom tortilla is nice and crispy. Remove the quesapizza from the skillet. If it doesn't lift up solidly, then it's not ready. The bottom piece should be firm, but not burnt. You'll need to add just a splash of more vegetable oil because the bottom tortilla has selfishly already absorbed what you originally added. In case your powers of prediction are really bad, you now flip over the quesapizza and place the floppy tortilla in the vegetable oil, so that the crispy side is now up.

Step 5: Once the other tortilla is nice and crispy, remove the quesapizza from the skillet. Now, pour some taco sauce on top of it. I used the mild Ortega taco sauce, but you can add any kind you prefer (and can handle!). It's best if you put the quesapizza on a plate before adding the taco sauce, because transferring it to a plate with the sauce on it can get messy.

You may be wondering: Why a slice of cheese, instead of shredded? Why Swiss? Why put the taco sauce on top of the quesapizza instead of inside? Why are you even calling it a quesapizza?

The short answer is, "'Cause I said so." A slightly longer answer is, "'Cause that's what I had to work with when I made it just now, and 'cause that's how I did it." For those not satisfied with those answers, though, here you go:

Sliced cheese melts differently than does shredded cheese, and I found the relatively short time in the skillet was more conducive to the sliced. The sliced cheese held together when I flipped the quesapizza in a way that shredded cheese would not have. Swiss cheese helps blunt the spiciness of the southwestern-style chicken. Let the chicken carry the flavor, and let the cheese complement it. As for the taco sauce, mine came out of the fridge, so it was actually cold. The contrast was an important part of the experience. If your taco sauce is room temperature, you may find little advantage to using it as a topping instead of as a filling. So, uh, Step 0 - refrigerate your taco sauce.

As for why call it a quesapizza, it's kinda simple. I set out thinking I was going to make a quesadilla but then I screwed it up entirely. Adding the taco sauce as a topping was an afterthought, but the crispiness of the tortillas combined with the taco sauce to remind me of the Mexican pizzas at Taco Bell, only these didn't present me with any danger of sharp edges leading to scar tissue and blockages.

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