The Sauce: Chicken Fajita Marinade – Lime zest and juice combined with cumin, chili powder and cilantro infuse Tex-Mex flavor into the chicken. Some brown sugar and oil enhance with sweetness and moisture.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
Chicken soaks up the marinade
Los Hermanos is an iconic Mexican restaurant in Provo, Utah. My son Russell’s best friend’s family owns and manages this excellent ‘south of the border’ eating place. I’ve enjoyed fajitas there on many occasions. Now I live several thousand miles away so I make fajitas with my own easy recipe.
Marinate the chicken long enough to let the spices soak into the meat then grill up the flavors. I love the seared onions and peppers with the remaining tablespoons of marinate added in at the last minute to flavor them with the same seasoning as the chicken.
An opera virtuoso is fantastic and even better accompanied by an orchestra. Chicken Fajitas with peppers and onions are the same. They’re enhanced with a mariachi of accompaniments: sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, lettuce and guacamole. Add cheese and tomatoes if you like. Wrap your favorites in a tortilla and lean in. Don’t worry if some of the juice drips down your elbow.
You might also enjoy Fetamole, Lime and Tomato Tajicos, Cantina Salsa, Baja Pico de Gallo, Fish Tacos with Pink Adobo Sauce, Taco Salad Kit, Mexican Hat Black Bean Soup, Black Bean Breakfast Burritos and Jabberwocky Burritos.
Recipe: Chicken Fajitas
Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Inactive Time: 30 Mins | Cook Time: 10 Minutes | Yield: 4 Servings | Level: Moderate
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, micro grated
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
- 1 dozen fajita tortillas
- 2 onions
- 3 bell peppers, mix of green, red, orange or yellow
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- salt and pepper
- sour cream
- shredded lettuce
- salsa or pico de gallo or diced tomatoes
Special Equipment – grill or grill pan
1 In a small bowl combine the lime zest, lime juice, 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic, cilantro and brown sugar.
2 Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. With your hand slightly pressing down, slice each breast in half through the equator to create 1/2-inch cutlets. Place in a gallon zipper bag. Pour marinade over the chicken, close the zipper and massage to coat the chicken pieces with the marinade. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
3 Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
4 Slice the onions and peppers.
5 Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven to heat for 10-15 minutes.
6 Heat a grill or grill pan. Take the chicken pieces out of the bag and place on the grill. Keep the residual marinade in the bag and set aside. Grill until it’s cooked through, about 4-5 minutes on each side.
7 Meanwhile, on high, heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil until very hot. Add the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the vegetables allowing them to sear, about 3 minutes.
8 Holding the chicken marinade bag over the skillet, clip a corner and let the juice, about 2-3 tablespoons, drain into the vegetables. Continue stirring for another couple of minutes then place the vegetables on one side of a large patter.
9 Once the chicken is done, slice into strips and place on the other side of the platter.
10 To serve, take the tortillas out of the oven and place on a plate. Add the platter with chicken and vegetables. Serve the accompaniments in bowls or plates.
11 Spoon chicken strips and some vegetables on a tortilla. Dollop with sour cream, add other accompaniments, fold and eat.
The lime juice in the marinade helps tenderize the chicken. If left to marinade more than 4 hours, the outside will become mealy.
Chicken breasts can also be pounded into 1/2-inch cutlets by placing between two sheets of plastic and pounding with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Slicing retains the chicken breast shape and is faster than pounding. Chicken tenders don’t required slicing or pounding.
Tortillas can also be heated in the microwave. Wrap 2-3 in paper towels and heat for 15-30 seconds.
Also serve fresh diced tomatoes, grated cheese and sliced green onions.
- Exchange chicken breasts for chicken tenders.
- Exchange multi-colors of bell peppers for whichever bells have a good market price.
Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: April 13, 2013