Make these hatch chile quesadillas with cheddar cheese and spicy ground chicken before the hatch season ends.
In Baja I make roasted poblano and cheese quesadillas almost every week. So what’s the fuss over hatch chiles?
I bought a bunch to try and Voila! Hatch chile quesadillas are now a family favorite.
The hatch green chile was originally cultivated in New Mexico and it’s part of their culinary heritage. It has a unique chile flavor somewhere between a poblano which I think is a little fruity and an Anaheim which I think is more green tasting. The heat in hatches varies but mine were mildly hot and were a perfect complement to cheddar cheese and spicy ground chicken.
Spicy chicken taco meat.
Remember when I said that I grind my own meat? Buying a whole chicken will save you money over buying ground chicken and it’s much safer; less factory handling and therefore less risk of bacterial contamination.
The taco meat was made with ground chicken and thigh meat. I cut up the chicken and removed the thigh and breast meat from the bone, saved the legs and wings for grilling with margarita marinade, and made chicken stock with the back and bones. I can make 4-5 meals for two from one whole chicken. I paid ~$6.00 for the whole chicken and ground chicken sells for $4-5 per pound in Nevada. I don’t normally see ground chicken in rural Mexico so grinding is a perfect, inexpensive and healthy solution.
Partially freeze cut up chicken thigh and breast meat for 40 minutes and then grind. Freeze in smaller portions or cook immediately and serve. I used my homemade taco seasoning mix.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground California chili
1 tablespoon New Mexico chili
1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf crushed
Crush spices in a mortar and pestle and store in a dry jar.
I use this meat grinder from Amazon and I love it. This is an affiliate link. I get a few cents if you buy one.
Easy Hatch Chile Quesadillas
- Fire roast the chiles outside on the grill or over a gas flame in the house. Roast until soft and well charred. Put the chilies in a paper bag after roasting, let cool and then rub off the skins and remove the seeds before using.
- Cook the ground chicken with 1.2 cup of onions chopped, a 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. Vegans could leave off the chicken or substitute non-animal alternatives like mushroom chorizo.
- I used shredded cheddar cheese but any melting cheese will work. Chihuahua cheese is a close substitution in Mexico.
- Build quesadilla by layer hate chiles, cheese and spicy chicken. Add cilantro and/or jalapeño slices if you desire.
- Brush each tortilla with olive oil and grill in a pan or on an outdoor grill.
Quesadillas have to be grilled or fried. Don’t even think about microwaving a quesadilla. Ever!
Have you tried hatch chile quesadillas? I liked them and I’m saving this recipe to repeat with poblano peppers.
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