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Grilled Chicken Fajitas

May 4, 2010

There are few foods that I love more than pretty much anything off the El Faro menu. I usually stick to my basics there, but whenever I step out of my comfort zone, I’m never disappointed. The only reason that I never ordered the fajitas, despite seeing them come out on their sizzling skillets and becoming intoxicated by their heavenly aroma, was the hefty price tag on the meals. I should have bit the bullet years ago. The price tag can’t even scare me away from them now, and you better believe that was the first thing I went after for my birthday dinner early last month. They come, like I said, on a sizzling skillet with green and red peppers, big chunks of red onion, a stack of corn or flour tortillas, a side plate of beans, rice, sour cream, and lettuce, and then, of course, your choice of steak or chicken, or both! It’s an unbelievable amount of food that makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Billy and I have remarked that the quality of the meat that they use is best in fajita form. They sear it and marinate it and god, it just melts in your mouth.

So! When I came across this recipe for grilled chicken fajitas on Annie’s Eats yesterday, it was just begging to be tested out. I have doubts that anything can beat out El Faro’s fajitas, but this sounded pretty good.

I wasn’t dissapointed. In fact, it smelled so good and I was so excited to eat it, that I completely forgot about any desire that I previously had to photograph the fruits of my labor. And had I remembered to photograph it once I finally got to take my first bite, I wouldn’t have wanted to stop to take the time to photograph it anyway. It was very very good.

I didn’t follow the directions exactly. I’ll include my variations in regular font right in with the recipe. For the original recipe, you can visit Annie’s Eats.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
6 tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1½ tsp. brown sugar
1 jalapeño, seeded, ribbed and diced (I used a couple of slices from a jar that I have in the fridge, and popped out the seeds)
1½ tbsp. minced Dried cilantro (It was what I had!)
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large red onion (about 14 oz.), sliced into ½-inch thick slices, rings not separated
2 large bell peppers (about 10 oz. each), stemmed, quartered and seeded (I, once again, used what I had, and substituted 2 jarred red peppers and 1 jarred yellow pepper – it’s a great way to keep peppers in the house. You don’t have to worry about them going bad.)
8-12 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Directions:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and pepper. Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade; set aside. Place the chicken breast halves in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Brush both sides of the onion rounds and peppers with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

I didn’t really feel like going outside and messing around with our little weber grill, so I heated up my cast iron grilling skillet. You can either use one like mine, or head outside and heat up your grill.

Remove the chicken breast halves from the marinade and transfer to the skillet. Discard the left over marinade. Place the onion rounds and peppers on the cooler side of the grill. Cook the chicken until it is well browned, 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken and continue grilling until it is no longer pink inside (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 160˚ F.) Meanwhile, cook onions and peppers until spottily charred and crisp-tender, about 8-12 minutes, turning once or twice as needed. When the chicken and vegetables are done, transfer them to a large plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Warm up the tortillas on the skillet or pop them in the microwave if you’re lazy like I was.

I made the mistake of not reading this part of the recipe, which is a big no no, and I really wish that I had. I think it will add quite a bit more flavor to your fajitas. Separate the onions into rings and place them in a medium bowl. Slice the bell peppers lengthwise into ¼-inch strips and add them to the bowl with the onions. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved unused marinade and toss well to combine. Slice the chicken into ¼-inch strips and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of reserved marinade in another bowl. Arrange the chicken and vegetables on a large platter with the warmed tortillas and serve. I brought out the sour cream for these buddies too. Tempered the heat from the jalapenos nicely.

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