Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sizzling Chicken Fajitas

I was in the mood for Tex-Mex for dinner last night so why not fajitas! These are easier to make than driving to a restaurant, trust me. Normally if you have time, it is best to marinate your meat (chicken, beef or fish) before cooking it up, but it was a Monday and I didn't have time. I opted to using dry spices for flavor instead and it worked out just fine. There are plenty of fajita recipes that you can find online but I like this one from Paula Deen on Food Network. It is straight-forward and to-the-point!

1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
3 tbsp lemon juice (omitted)
1 garlic clove, minced (omitted)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Salt / Freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 lbs meat (boneless, skinless chicken breast, skirt steak or peeled and deveined shrimp)
1 medium onion, halved and sliced lengthwise
1 green bell pepper and 1 red bell pepper, sliced (I used yellow and red)

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 lime, juiced, for topping (omitted) 
Sour cream, for topping
Salsa, for topping
Guacamole, for topping (omitted only because I didn't have it on hand) 
Cheddar cheese, shredded, for topping

In a heavy duty resealable plastic bag, combine 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce, salt, pepper and your choice of meat. Seal and toss the bag around to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator. *Cook's Note: 15 minutes for shrimp, 20 minutes for chicken and 1 hour for skirt steak. No, I did not have an extra 20 minutes if you must ask. I just seasoned the chicken with the spices listed above and cooked it!

Preheat your cast iron servers in a preheated 400 degree F oven for at least 20 minutes, to get a good sizzle when you plate the fajitas. I did not have these, no need to worry if you don't either!

Heat the outside grill or a large indoor grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and place it on the hot grill, discard the marinade. Cook chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, skirt steak about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare and about 2 minutes for shrimp. Slice the chicken and steak into strips if you are using.

In a large skillet heat up the remaining 2 tbsp vegetable oil and fry the onions and bell peppers until crisp-tender with some salt and pepper. I put the cooked chicken back in this pan when the vegetables were almost done so it could heat through and combine.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in the oven with the servers for 15 minutes. I warmed my tortillas on a sheet pan in the oven for 8 minutes.

When you are ready to serve, remove the cast iron servers from the oven and quickly arrange the meat and peppers and onions on it. Serve immediately with the warm tortillas and other accompaniments. This recipe said it serves 8, but I'm unsure who eats only one fajita? Not this girl!

Tutti Mangia! This definitely satisfied my craving for Tex-Mex!


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