I hope everyone had a nice Father’s Day weekend. Mike has been traveling so Aida and I have been cleaning and organizing the new place, going to the park, and binge watching entourage like it’s nobody’s business.
I love fajitas in the summer. It’s a quick, low fuss meal that can be thrown on the grill without getting the kitchen horribly dirty or if you’re recently grill-less, like me, easy to do and doors and still get great results. The marinade keeps the chicken super moist and the brown sugar helps with caramelization, even indoors.
My favorite accompaniment is homemade guacamole, but I like to serve these with all the fixings so people can customize to their liking. One of Mike’s new favorites is dried Aleppo chili pepper; it adds just the right amount of heat with awesome flavor.
Chicken FajitasAdapted slightly from Cooks Illustrated Serves 4 to 6 The chicken and peppers are perfect on their own but I like to serve these up with all the fixings, especially if I’m entertaining, so people can customize to their liking. I always serve with homemade guacamole, salsa, sour cream, freshly shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, lime wedges and hot sauce.
Marinade1/3 cup lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes) 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon) 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar 1 jalapeño chile, seeds and ribs removed, chile minced 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves Salt and ground black pepper
Chicken, Peppers & Onions3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed of fat, tenderloins removed, breasts pounded to 1/2-inch thickness 1 large red onion (about 14 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (do not separate rings) 1 large red bell pepper (about 10 ounces), quartered, stemmed, and seeded 1 large green bell pepper (about 10 ounces), quartered, stemmed, and seeded 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 8 – 12 plain flour tortillas (6-inch)
In medium bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients with 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade in small bowl and set aside; reserved marinade will be tossed with cooked chicken and peppers after slicing. To remaining marinade, add another teaspoon salt. Place chicken in remaining marinade; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes.
To Cook Fajitas Indoors
Adjust one oven rack to upper-middle position (about 8 inches from heating element) and second rack to lower-middle position; heat broiler.
Brush both sides of onion rounds and peppers with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange onion rounds and peppers (skin sides up) in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Wrap tortillas securely in foil in two packets, each containing half of tortillas.
Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels; discard marinade. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Swirl oil to coat skillet, then arrange chicken smooth side down in skillet in single layer; cook without moving chicken, until well browned, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken; continue to cook until second sides are well browned, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, turning chicken once or twice, until chicken is no longer pink when cut into with paring knife or instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 160 degrees, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to large plate and let rest 5 minutes.
While chicken is cooking, place baking sheet with vegetables in oven on upper rack; place tortilla packets on lower rack. Broil vegetables until spottily charred and peppers are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer peppers to cutting board. Flip onion rounds and continue to broil until charred and tender, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Turn off broiler and remove vegetables, leaving tortillas in oven until needed.
To Cook Fajitas Outdoors
Prepare a two-level fire on a charcoal or gas grill; one area should be hot for the chicken, the other should be medium for the peppers and onions.
Remove chicken from marinade and place chicken smooth side down on hotter side of grill; discard marinade. Place onion rounds and peppers (skin side down) on cooler side of grill. Cook chicken (covered for gas) until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes; using tongs, flip chicken and continue grilling until chicken is no longer pink when cut into with paring knife or instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers about 160 degrees, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Meanwhile, cook peppers until spottily charred and crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice as needed; cook onions until tender and charred on both sides, 10 to 12 minutes, turning every 3 to 4 minutes. When chicken and vegetables are done, transfer to large plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
Working in 2 or 3 batches, place tortillas in single layer on cooler side of now-empty grill and cook until warm and lightly browned, about 20 seconds per side (do not grill too long or tortillas will become brittle). As tortillas are done, wrap in kitchen towel or large sheet of foil.
Separate onions into rings and place in medium bowl; slice bell peppers lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips and place in bowl with onions. Add 2 tablespoons reserved UNUSED marinade to vegetables and toss well to combine. Slice chicken into 1/4-inch strips and toss with remaining 2 tablespoons reserved marinade in another bowl; arrange chicken and vegetables on large platter and serve with warmed tortillas and desired accompaniments.
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