Friday, June 10, 2011

Chicken Fajitas

I have a freezer full of chicken.

And about a month to cook it all.

Have I mentioned we're moving?

I'm going to turn into a chicken before July comes.

And I'm trying to cook it in as many different ways as I can think of.

Last night my husband walked in the door from work and said, "It smells great in here!"

I like it when he says that.

It validates me.

I had made Chicken Fajitas and Guacamole.  Our oldest helped me.  By sticking her hand in every picture I snapped.

Love that girl.

Chicken Fajitas are a staple at our house.  I love the toppings more than anything, I think.  And fajitas are a great excuse to eat toppings.

So start with some chicken.  Four boneless skinless breasts is a good amount.  Put them in a zipper bag and pour in some lime juice.  Sprinkle in salt and pepper and a minced clove of garlic.

Squish it around to make sure every part of the chicken is coated in yummy lime juice.  They're ready for the grill when they've marinated for a few hours.

Now let's prep the onions and peppers.

I love red and yellow peppers.  But you can use any colors you like.

And by all means use a Vidalia onion.

In general, a good ratio is 2 peppers to one onion.  But I had a half of an onion left from the Guacamole, so I did 2 peppers to 1 1/2 onions.  Plus, I love onions.  As we already know.

Slice them up into long strips.


Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pot and let it get hot...and toss in the peppers and onions.

After about 5 minutes, when they're starting to get soft, we'll season them.

A teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of pepper, and two teaspoons each of cumin and chili powder.  And a half a teaspoon of cinnamon.  The cinnamon was my brother's idea and it was a great one.  It adds a nice, warm background flavor that you can't even identify as cinnamon. 


Saute it for another five minutes or so.  We want it to be tender yet not crisp and soft but not limp.

It's a delicate balance.

Not really.  It's just peppers and onions.

While the peppers and onions cook, grill the chicken. 

Go outside to start your gas grill.  Realize that the propane tank is empty.  Go back inside and get out your grill pan for the stove.

Depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts, they will cook 4 minutes or so per side. 

When the chicken is done, let it rest for about five minutes before you slice it into strips.  Here are two of the breasts I cut up:

Now that the components are ready, get out the toppings.

We like sour cream, shredded jack cheese, Guacamole, and salsa.

I usually do Red Salsa for fajitas, but I had this jar in my pantry.  And since the goal this month is to clean out my pantry, I felt good about using this jar.

To assemble a fajita, put a tortilla in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Turn it with tongs until it's warm and pliable but not dry and cripsy.  I ususally use soft taco-sized tortillas (they're the smallest ones) but for some reason I bought fajita size tortillas (they're medium-sized).  It really matters not what size your tortillas are.

When the tortilla is warm, put it on a plate and load it up with chicken, peppers and onions. 

Now for the toppings.  Pile them on. 


Chicken Fajitas

For the chicken:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly minced

For the peppers and onions:
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 large sweet onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

To assemble:
Soft taco size flour tortillas
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Sour cream
Red Salsa

Place the chicken in a large ziploc and add the lime juice, salt, pepper and garlic.  Squish it around to combine the ingredients and coat the chicken.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours, turning a couple times to make sure both sides marinate evenly.

When the chicken has marinated, remove it from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature while you prep the veggies.

Slice the onions and bell peppers into long strips. 

Heat a grill pan for the chicken over medium-high heat and grill the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side or until it is cooked through.  Let it rest for five minutes before slicing into strips.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or skillet for the peppers.  Saute the peppers and onions for about five minutes.  Add the salt, pepper, cumin, chili pepper and cinnamon.  Saute for another five minutes or until the peppers and onions are tender.  Remove from the heat when through.

Heat the tortillas one or two at a time in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Turn them frequently.  Once the skillet is hot, this only takes a few seconds per side. Don't take your eye off of the tortillas or they will burn quickly!

Now you're ready to build!  Lay the warm tortilla on your plate and pile on the chicken, veggies, and toppings.

Have fun!


BWF said...

Sounds good. Where did you get your enamel dutch oven? I've been looking for one but don't want to pay for a Le Creuset.

John Pinkston said...

weird. we had the same thing for dinner...minus the cinnamon even though your brother likes it! no guac but i made black bean salsa and piled that on! yum.

Elizabeth said...

Bethany, my parents got my Le Creuset for Christmas for me one year...I'm pretty sure my mom found it at TJMaxx though. If you hit it just right you might be able to find one there! I know that Crate & Barrel carries nice ones too that are reasonable.

Katie - too funny! Yum on the black bean salsa on top!

Jessie said...

Elizabeth, these sound so good! Although my hubby probably won't be excited about yet another chicken recipe.....

Elizabeth said...

Jessie - I know, chicken again! :) You could substitute flank steak for the chicken for a different idea!

Amber said...

Great recipe Elizabeth and I will definitely try this and your salsa recipe this week since I just got a bunch of bell peppers!
Sorry to but in but Bethany I got my dutch oven from Target and it is the Lodge brand and is $70 I have had it for 4 years and it is every bit as good as my le creuset dutch over and I probably use it more because I am always worried about damaging my nicer one!

BWF said...

Thanks, Amber. I was worried about some of the other brands based on the reviews that I'd read, but that is good to know that your Lodge one has held up for 4 years. That's pretty good. Thanks for jumping in!