A flavorful marinade and a quick sear make for easy homemade chicken fajitas—onions and bell peppers help, too. This is a classic you can make yourself!
Homemade Chicken Fajitas
Yay, chicken fajitas! So easy to make, and so quick. The method involves quickly searing the meat on a griddle or grill, and then slicing and serving with quickly seared peppers and onions. And, of course, flour tortillas.
What does fajita mean?
A little bit of back story. The word “fajita” means “little belt” from “faja” for strip or belt, and the diminutive “ita.” It describes a skirt steak, and fajitas were traditionally made with grilled skirt steak, though now they can be made with chicken, shrimp, you name it.
How to Prep the Meat for Fajitas
Now with a skirt steak (when making steak fajitas) it makes a lot of sense to quickly sear the meat and cut it across the grain to serve. You want the steak to be rare in the middle.
But with chicken? Not so much. Rare is not good for chicken. A way to get around this is to either cut the chicken in strips to begin with or to start with thinner pieces of chicken.
I prefer to start with a thinner piece of chicken, that way it’s less likely to dry out. If you have chicken breasts that are around a half pound each or more, you will want to slice them in half horizontally, so that the center thickness is around 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick.
Rather than thinning the meat with a meat pounder, which will not result in the right texture and consistency for fajitas, I slice the chicken breasts horizontally.
You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer. Just keep in mind they may need a couple of extra minutes to cook.
How to Marinate and Cook Chicken Fajitas
The cutlets are marinated for a minimum of 30 minutes (an hour or longer is best) in a spicy marinade with chili powder, cilantro, and jalapeño. You can marinate up to 24 hours in advance, but any longer than that and the lime juice in the marinade will start to “cook” the chicken.
To cook, you sear the cutlets on a hot cast iron pan (you could also easily use a hot grill), and after letting them rest a few minutes, slice them across the grain of the meat. Cook the peppers and onions in the same pan while the meat is resting.
MEXICAN FOOD? CINCO MAS, POR FAVOR!
- Skillet Shrimp Fajitas
- Beef Steak Fajitas
- Mexican Tostada
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas with Peppers and Onions
- Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
How To Make Chicken Fajitas (VIDEO)
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