Recipe courtesy of Elena Besser

Chicken Quesadillas with Homemade Flour Tortillas

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 6 quesadillas
This recipe combines leftover rotisserie chicken or roast chicken with quick-and-easy five-ingredient flour tortillas for a homemade take on a classic. Plus, it’s easily tailored to what you have on hand (or prefer). The fresh taste and aroma of just-made tortillas may make you swear off store-bought ones forever!





  1. Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl. Mix in the lard with your hands or a fork until the mixture resembles wet sand. Slowly mix in the hot water, mixing the dough by hand or with a fork until it comes together in a ball; you may have a little water leftover.
  2. Knead the dough by hand on a clean counter until smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before portioning it into 12 equal balls. (At this point the dough can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to a day before use.)  
  3. Roll out each ball of dough on a floured surface until about 1/8-inch thick. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tortillas one at a time in the skillet until they blister and puff, about 1 minute per side. Remove from the skillet and stack on a plate; cover with a kitchen towel as you work to keep the tortillas warm. 
  4. For the quesadillas: Place one tortilla in a medium nonstick skillet and cover with shredded cheese and chicken. Cook over medium-low heat until the cheese begins to melt, 3 to 5 minutes. (If you like, heat 2 separate skillets so you can cook 2 quesadillas at once.) 
  5. Place another tortilla on top of the first and flip. Cook until the underside is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  
  6. Cut the quesadillas into triangles and serve with lime wedges, cilantro and toppings of choice: Sour cream, hot sauce, pickled jalapeños, guacamole and/or salsa.

Cook’s Note

Butter, ghee or an oil of your choice can also be used in place of lard or shortening in the tortillas.