Quesadilla, Chick-Fil-A Style
Through the torment of junior year came the summer, and without much pondering I decided to test myself in the workforce, or should I say earn money and buy what I wanted whenever I wanted, without having to ask my parents and receive the renowned answer of “Yeah once you get a job and start earning your own money”. Shortly after summer begun, I applied and got a job at Chick-fil-a. On my first day, things went pretty smooth, and I said to myself this isn’t as bad as they (fellow workers) make it seem. Clueless to me, it was a Monday and Mondays as well as the other days up until Thursdays are usually slow. But then came a Friday, the first Friday I was scheduled to work, and a different side of Chick-fil-a, at least in the “alley”, where the food is being prepared, announced itself.
It was insanely busy, not just because it was a Friday, but that it was Chick-fil-a’s Cow Appreciation Day, and those who knew about the horribleness of this day requested off or called out “sick”, however, with me being new and having just received my first check and feeling pretty good about myself, I requested to be available all week. When I walked into the store, I noticed the store’s population volume was significantly larger than usual, but I shrugged it off as nothing, terrible mistake. Stepping into the alley, I was literally stepping into hell as the heat wave despite the AC at full power could be felt instantly due to the amount of cooking and yelling that going on. I was quickly told where my station would be for the shift, Fries, the worst place, as it produces additional heat, and you are having to serve both drive-thru and dine in. Anyways when the hours for the event ended, the managers thanked us for a wonderful job well done, however, it wasn’t until one of the supervisors made what we now call the “Chick-fil-a Quesadilla” that I truly felt that thank you.
You’re mostly wondering when Chick-fil-a started or stopped serving quesadillas? Quick answer, they didn’t, as it is a back alley (where the food is prepared) special. Nonetheless, when he served his newest dish to the alley crew for a job well done, you could see the joy in people’s face when they tried it. I didn’t understand this until I took my first bite which I assure you wasn’t the last. It was heavenly, and in my mind, I was like, “now this what I’m talking about”. The first time he made it I missed the process, the next time however, it was for his break food and since we used to get break food free, he went all out and I witnessed the whole shebang, including the ingredients, method, technique etc. He utilized three fried spicy chickens which are pretty big individually, chopped bacon, at least a handful, roasted corn, chopped tomatoes and onions, two burrito wraps (flatbread), shredded American cheese, then sliced American, Colby jack and pepper jack cheeses, Polynesian sauce, and Chick-fil-a (CFA) House Dressing.
With all the ingredients in place, he began cooking, although he added the ingredients to the frypan as he went, I kept an account. First, he placed the two burrito wraps side by side to each other, placed the three different types of cheese on each wrap with one type of cheese repeating in order to make a square and less of a blocked triangle. Then sprinkled the shredded cheese on the entirety of the wrap covering the sliced cheeses. Afterward, he opened the house dressing and spread it atop the shredded cheese on each wrap, and that sector was done, at least at that point. Then he turned his attention to the contents that will be sandwiched between flatbreads (wrap). He cut up the chicken into not tiny but little pieces, then the onions and tomatoes as well. He next sprayed cooking butter, as it was the most convenient, on an empty frypan. Soon, he poured the onions first into the pan and let it sizzle for I’d say one minute till it was a little cooked. Following, he poured the spicy chicken, tomatoes, bacon, roasted corn and Polynesian sauce into the frying pan and let it fry for two mins while stirring it, as everything was already cooked and done, with the frying primarily to mix the ingredients into one entity.
However, before the cooking was done, he set the before prepared burrito wraps on a hot flat-top grill in order to melt the cheese and toast the wrap simultaneously. After the chicken and all the other ingredients were ready and the cheese melted while the wrap was toasting, he poured the Polynesian laced chicken onto one it, then used the other wrap to cover it. Using spatulas, he beat on the top of the recently covered wrap to spread it across all sides of it. While this was in occurrence the melted cheese began overflowing down the sides of the quesadilla and the dish was taking shape quite gracefully. After a few seconds, he lifted it off the grill and placed it on a cutting board then sliced it into four big pieces, not only in circumference but also in depth and height, as all those ingredients allowed for a giant quesadilla, which unfortunately this time he enjoyed for himself. However, this was before my break, and when mine came along I created one for myself as well.
Sustainability-wise, this dish is an antagonist to sustainability as it requires quite a bit of time unless you’re at a Chick-fil-a kitchen which then would be 10 to 15 mins max.
In addition to that, it is substantially expensive because then you would have to buy a Chick-fil-a spicy chicken individually from the store, as well as the other ingredients perhaps from a grocery store then prepare it yourself, which will take time. However, one tiny pro-economic sustainability is the Polynesian sauce and House Dressing, as this could be requested. And given Chick-fil-a’s remarkable customer service you will be granted some given you bought something that could go along with it. Another shot against sustainability this dish possess is at the environment, in that all these meats are raised, meaning they emit an abundance of CO2 into the air. All in all, this dish goes against everything sustainability stands for, economically, environmentally and socially in that the time spent making this could be spent socializing with friends. Therefore, is there any way to turn it from an antagonist to a protagonist? Well, after ample revisions of the original recipe, there is.
The original involves usage of three spicy chickens, but to make it sustainable I have limited it to one. That ’s less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. And with the usage of just one kind of cheese either sliced or shredded, we’re looking at even less CO2 emissions and more reduced cost. For bacon, only one slice or a half cup of chopped bacon could be utilized instead of the usual cup. That’s more money saved and a much cleaner atmosphere. After practicing this more sustainable Chick-fil-a Quesadilla, you get a much slimmer serving than the original, however, it is the same Chick-fil-a Quesadilla, just minimized. In Bell Hooks’ Belonging: A Culture of Place, he states “I pay tributes to the past as a resource that can serve as a foundation for us to revision and renew our commitment to the present, to make a world where all can live fully and well” (5). The original Chick-fil-a Quesadilla is a foundation, and should that original put our present and future well-being in a questionable state, then by no means, we should alter it to ensure that well-being is not called into question. For instance, through the creation of a more sustainable oriented version.
3 CFA Spicy chickens
1 Cup of chopped bacon
1 Cup roasted corn
1 Cup of chopped onions
5 Slices of tomatoes
3 Polynesian sauces
2 Flatbread( burrito wraps, wraps)
2 CFA House Dressings
1 Slice of American cheese
1 Slice of Colby jack
1 Slice of pepper jack cheese
1 CFA Spicy chicken
¼ Cup of chopped bacon / 1 Slice of bacon
½ Cup roasted corn
½ Cup of chopped onions
2 Slices of tomatoes
1 Polynesian sauce
1 CFA House Dressing
- Gather all the ingredients
- Place the two burrito wraps side by side to each other.
- Place the three different types of cheese on each flatbread, then sprinkled the shredded cheese on the entirety of the flatbread covering the sliced cheeses.
- Open the house dressing and spread it on top of the shredded cheese on each flatbread.
- Dice the chicken into little but not tiny pieces, then the onions and tomatoes.
- Spray cooking butter oil on an empty frying pan and allow to fry.
- Pour the onions first into the pan and allow to sizzle for 1 minute.
- Pour the chicken, tomatoes, bacon, roasted corn and Polynesian sauce into the frying pan and let it fry for 2 mins while stirring it.
Third Step: 30 Seconds Before Last 2nd Step is Realized.
- 30 seconds prior to the mixing of all the quesadilla contents, place the before prepared flatbread on a hot flat top grill or frying pan in order to melt the cheese and toast the flatbread.
- After the chicken and all the other ingredients are ready, and the cheese melted while the flatbread was toasting, pour the contents onto one flatbread, then use the other flatbread to cover it.
- Using spatulas, beat on the top of the covering flatbread to spread the contents of the quesadilla across its whole perimeter.
- After a few seconds lift your quesadilla off the grill or frying pan and place it on a cutting board.
- Then slice it into however many pieces you want or not at all
- And voila, your Chick-fil-a Quesadilla.
Hooks, Bell. Belonging: A Culture of Place. 1990, Routledge, New York.