Fantastic & flavorful Chicken Fajitas from scratch! All it takes is a simple marinade,crispy vegetables & seasonings to put together these amazing meal.One of the world’s best known and well-loved Tex-Mex dishes, ever, are fajitas. Simply: fajitas are one of the most versatile, easy and enjoyable meals you can create on your own, or with family and friends. Their versatility ranges from the type of ingredients you can include to your choice of preparation, and of course, the array of vegetables and condiments you can add.
To break it down just a bit, fajitas are grilled or sautéed meats and vegetables, served with warmed corn or flour tortillas, and topped with lettuce, tomato, pico de gallo (also known as salsa fresca) and other piquantes (hot sauce, in Spanish). Fajitas are a perfect choice for any type of social gathering or a normal meal at home. With all of that said, why wouldn’t you want to try your hand at making this wonderful dish?
My favorite recipe for making fajitas includes chicken marinated in shish taouk or burrito seasonings, both of which I’ll explain in further detail as we move along.
As I mentioned earlier, your choice of fillings for your fajitas is your decision to make – it’s so hard to go wrong with this easy to make dish. But my all-time favorite (and my family and friends) is my delicious and mouth-watering chicken fajitas. What makes my recipe so beloved are the spices I create to marinate the chicken in before I start grilling or sautéing them.
Probably the longest process you’ll face in making chicken fajitas is the marinating time you allow them. While it’s entirely possible to serve tasty fajitas by skipping the marinating process, it’s well worth your time and the satisfaction of your appetite to plan slightly ahead.
Marinating is a combination of oil (olive oil), acid (lemon or lime juice) and spices added to your meat, which is then set aside (in any type of closed container) to allow the flavors to become absorbed before you start grilling or sautéing.* I prefer to allow my chicken fajitas to marinate overnight, or 24 hours, in the refrigerator. But, if I’m pressed for time, as little as 1 – 2 hours should do the trick. But keep in mind, the longer your chicken has to marinate, the better.
The best cut for chicken fajitas are strips. They are thinly sliced portions of chicken breast that you can find ready to buy at any supermarket or made to order at your local butcher. Chicken strips will fit nicely in your tortilla and are very quick to cook.
(A quick and fun trivia fact: the term fajita is translated from Spanish as “little strips”, which initially referred to the type of steak traditionally used to make fajitas – known as skirt steak. Who knew?)
With all of the recipes I like to share with you, I always recommend that you buy the freshest cuts of meat that you can find. One of the great things about using chicken to make your fajitas is that they are one of the cheapest (in terms of cost) meats on the market. And while that’s always nice for anyone’s budget, try not to exclude “quality” when you shop. It will go a long way, in every way.
CHICKEN FAJITAS MARINADE
There are countless ways you can spice up your version of chicken fajitas, but two types of spice seasonings I alternate between in my own version are shish taouk and burrito seasoning.
Shish taouk is a mix of seasonings commonly used in much of the Middle East and used for marinating chicken kabobs. The blend of ground allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon pepper and garlic powder adds a unique and other worldly flavor to my chicken fajitas. It is an easily prepared spice mix that you can create on your own and use on other dishes to your liking.
My more traditional version of chicken fajitas uses a burrito style seasoning. This spice mix can be found in most supermarkets, but again, is just as easy to make and store for use in other meals as you like. Simply blend ground chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion flakes, garlic powder and cayenne.
Chicken fajitas, and really almost any variation thereof, are served with similarly grilled or sautéed onions and bell peppers on top. There is something about this combination of vegetable that elevates your fajita like no other. Again, the type of onion or peppers you choose is up to you but make sure to be generous with your portions, and either grill them or sauté them as you would the chicken. Have a bit of fun with your version and add an assortment of peppers (red, yellow, green and/or orange) to add a bit of color and infuse your chicken fajitas with maximum vitamins and nutrients bell peppers provide.
Chicken fajitas can be prepared all year round – which makes them perfect for grilling when the weather is just right or sautéing them in your kitchen. I’ve briefly touched on some preparation methods you want to keep in mind, such as trying to think ahead about marinating your chicken in order to experience its total goodness and getting your spices together to add to your marinade.
My chicken fajitas are always served with warm tortillas, so again, allowing them to heat gently on the grill or in a pan is key. Finally, making sure you have your preferred condiments really shouldn’t be overlooked. Preparing your very own pico de gallo or making sure to buy your markets freshest pre-made batch; choosing your piquantes, such as salsa verde (green chile sauce) or chili sauce; and of course, dicing up some fresh tomatoes and lettuce, to add a nice cooling factor to your hot and irresistible plate.
There isn’t anything I love more than being able to pull together a scrumptious meal for family and friends (and especially myself) that doesn’t cost a lot to create and brings total satisfaction – thisrecipe for chicken fajitas has never let me down, and I hope it impresses you. On that note, as they say in the Southwest of the US, or restaurants world-wide, Buen provencho – have a great meal!
You will want to toss the chicken around approximately every 30 minutes so each side absorbs the marinade equally.
- Chicken breasts( boneless)- 3
- Finely grated rind and juice of 2 limes
- Sugar-1/2 tsp
- Onion-1 large
- Dried Oregano-2 tbsp
- Shish Tawouk mix- 3 tbsp
- Cayenne pepper-1/2 tsp
- Ground cinnamon- 1 tsp
- Bell peppers- 3 ( 1 -red, 1-green, 1-orange)
- Cheddar Cheese- 1½ cup
- Vegetable oil- 3 tbsp
- Sour cream to serve( It can be substituted for Guacamole, salsa.
- For Tortillas
- All-purpose flour, sifted- 2¼ cups
- Baking powder-1/4 tsp
- Salt - To taste
- Lard- ¼ cup
- Warm water- 4 tbsp
- Slice the chicken breasts into 2 cm wide strips and put them in a bowl. Mix lime juice with dry oregano,sugar, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and shish tawouk mix. Mix well. Coat chicken with this mixture. Marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Now it is time to make homemade tortillas.In a large bowl combine all-purpose flour,baking powder and salt. Rub in the lard.Add lukewarm water gradually and make stiff dough. Knead the dough on lightly floured surface until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Divide the dough into 12 small balls. Roll each ball to a 15 cm round. Cover them with plastic to prevent from drying out.
- Slice the onion. Cut the bell peppers in half, remove the cores and seeds, then make strips.
- Heat a frying pan and cook each tortilla for 1 minute per side or until the surface begins to blister. Wrap them in a clean , dry kitchen towel to keep them warm.
- Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan. Stir-fry the marinated chicken for 5-6 minutes,then add the bell peppers and onions and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the chicken are cooked but vegetables are still juicy. Transfer the chicken mixture into a bowl.
- Take a warm tortilla, spread little sour cream(salsa/guacamole). Top with chicken -vegetable mixture and cheddar cheese. Fold tortilla over the filling and eat!