Grilling: Chicken Fajitas

[Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

20100428-chicken-fajitas-small.jpgIt was two years ago when I first started posting here—right before my top eating holiday, Cinco de Mayo—and shared one of my all-time favorite grilling recipes for skirt steak fajitas. I can't even count how many more times I've made those since then, being such a quick and easy meal that packs an insanely good combination of flavors. It's in my regular rotation.
Although I contend that skirt steak = fajitas, over 100 recipe posts forces some give, and I'm evolving to the next generation in my fajita diet—chicken.

Keeping with the quick and easy part, I threw together a marinade with some standard standard Tex-Mex ingredients I had on hand and tossed in a few chicken breasts pounded to a half-inch thick. Being heavy on lime juice, this had to be a fast marinade, so as soon as I had a fire going, I took the chicken to the grill over high heat until browned and cooked through. Sliced up and piled in a flour tortilla with sauteed peppers, onions, and a little sour cream, it was time to dive in.

A short half hour marinade packed the breasts with the unmistakable flavors of lime and cilantro, and the grill gave it a nice slight-crisp crust that held the sugar and cumin portion. Quick, easy, and full of flavor, these fajitas were delivering—to the full extent of skirt steak, not totally, but enough to take a high position on any Cinco de Mayo menu.

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Grilling: Chicken Fajitas

About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: What to Eat and Drink on Cinco de Mayo

Ingredients

  • For the marinade:
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-in thick
  • For the vegetables:
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 large white onion, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Sour cream
  • Flour tortillas

Procedures

  1. 1

    In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the marinade. Place the chicken breasts in a large Ziplock bag and pour marinade all over. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible and allow to marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

  2. 2

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over the charcoal grate. Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook over high heat until browned on both sides and cooked through, about three to five minutes per side. Remove the from the grill and allow to rest five to ten minutes. Slice into 1/2 inch strips.

  3. 3

    While the chicken is resting, toss the peppers and onion with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place a cast iron skillet directly on the hot coals in the grill, and when heated, add in the peppers and onions. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft and nicely browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.

  4. 4

    Heat the tortillas on the grill or in the oven until soft. Assemble fajitas with the vegetables, chicken, and a dollop of sour cream.

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