Fajitas sure have come a long ways since I first learned of them back in the 80’s while living in Texas. Back then fajitas were strictly beef skirt(sometimes flank) steak, sliced real thin, marinated and then grilled. These days you can find shrimp and vegetarian recipes listed as fajitas. Don’t ask my brother Ismael his opinion on what constitutes a real fajita! Lol! He lives in Texas! Ha, ha, ha! For today’s blog post, I decided on the second best fajita, in my opinion, which is chicken. It is a crowd favorite and fairly healthy when using chicken breast. My best advice would be to go through your spice cupboard, take inventory and use your spices! So many of us, like me, have a cupboard full and only use the favorites in the front row. I will often develop a recipe based on what spices I have most of. Most of the time it ends up being a Mexican inpired recipe, but I love my Indian and Asian foods as well. And it’s so easy to achieve those flavors, with good quality dry spices. Every good fajita also deserves a soft, warm flour tortilla. Still have not tried to prepare them at home? Have a tortilla making party, it will be a blast! Don’t forget the margaritas!
And don’t think you can’t prepare this recipe because you are not up to grilling outside. I just dig out my cast iron grill pan and cook it up on the stove top!
Chicken Fajitas(Surf and Turf)
Many times during grilling season, I like to grill bigger portions of chicken. It makes for quick and easy meals for the the week! Here I paired two of my favorites, chicken fajitas and jalapeño tequila shrimp!
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chile ancho powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano crushed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons dried onions crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- Salt to taste
- Juice and zest of 1 large lemon or lime
- 1/2 cup oil I used half grapeseed and half olive oil
- 1/3 cup water
You will also need
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast
- *chicken breast were sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 3 Assorted peppers poblano, anahiem, red bell, green bell peppers, sliced into strips
- 1 large sweet onion sliced into strips
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Flour tortillas no bigger than 6 inches in diameter
- Pico de gallo or your favorite salsa
- Crema or sour cream
- 18 to 20 large shrimp peeled and cleaned (tails on)
- fresh cracked pepper
- jalapeno powder or chipotle powder
- smoked paprika
- granulated garlic powder
- olive oil
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup pickled jalapeno chopped fine
- 3 to 4 tablespoons silver tequila
Directions For Chicken
- Combine all of the ingredients for the fajita marinade. Whisk to combine. Taste for salt. Pour over chicken to coat evenly. Cover and marinate for 24 hours or up to 2 days. When you are ready to grill, remove the chicken from refrigerator at least 20 to 30 minutes before.
While the chicken comes to room temperature, prep the peppers and onions. If cooking indoors on saute pan, preheat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add all of the peppers. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and toss to combine. Remove from heat, set aside.
- If cooking on the grill, lightly coat the peppers and onions with oil. Transfer to grill pan. Cook on grill for about 10 to 15 minutes, toss with tongs now and then. Transfer to serving dish, add vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Keep covered until ready to serve.
Prep and preheat your grill , gas or charcoal, to medium/high heat for 10 minutes. Brush grates with oil. Place chicken on grill and cook for 5-6 minutes per side or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees F. Transfer onto plate and tent loosely for a few minutes. Slice thin against the grain.
Directions For Shrimp
Mix 1/2 teaspoon each of dry spices listed until well combined. Taste for salt. Sprinkle generously onto both sides of shrimp. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.
- In a small bowl mix the pickled jalapeno, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and tequila. Season to taste with salt and pepper, set aside.
When ready, place seasoned shrimp onto skewers. Grill for 2 minutes per side. Baste with jalapeno/tequila mixture as soon as you turn it. Turn and baste one more time. Remove from heat and pour remaining jalapeno/tequila mixture over shrimp. Squeeze on some fresh lime juice while shrimp is still warm. Serve right away.
Many times you will see fajitas cooked with the peppers and onions. I like to serve them separate so that everyone can add what they like. Both recipes can easily be prepared on the stove top. Use a cast iron skillet or grill pan.
Tips~ The dried spices , combined, for the marinade can be used as taco seasoning as well!
Tips~ I like to prepare a large quantity of this chicken even if there are only two of us. It freezes well and can be used for salads, soups or sandwiches besides the tacos.
Tips~The first night, I only had Anahiem peppers to cook with the sweet onion. On the second day, I added the sauted red bell and poblano to the mix.
Tips~ And with every good fajita taco, you must have flour tortillas! Go to the end of post to find link for Homemade Flour Tortillas.
Jalapeño Tequila Shrimp
Homemade Flour Tortillas. Click onto picture to see full recipe.