Fajitas scare me. Not in the sense that I somehow think that some sort of harm is going to befall me if I order or eat fajitas, but still. See, the thing about fajitas is that whenever I see someone else order them in a restaurant I always think they look, smell, and sound delicious (can something sound delicious?). The seasoned meat, peppers, and onions sizzling on cast iron (they’re always served on some sort of specially made cast-iron something-or-other) are definitely alluring, but for some reason I just have this sixth sense that if I were to actually order fajitas in a restaurant, I’d end up sorely disappointed in whatever ended up on my plate. Twelve dollars to be filled with regret. No thanks. So, for about fifteen dollars, here’s how to have (four servings of) chicken fajitas that will fill you with nothing but happiness….and you can make and eat them while wearing your jammies.
This recipe is adapted slightly from America’s Test Kitchen, which is one of my very, very favorite recipe sources. Since we turned off our cable over a year ago, I’ve become quite the ATK addict and now I wonder how I got along all that time without them. The good folks at America’s Test Kitchen take a recipe and pick it apart, choosing the best flavor combinations, the perfect cuts of meat, the right prep techniques…so on and so on. They’ll teach you about chemical reactions and they’ll even tell you what the best brands of kitchen equipment and foods are to use to make your recipe.
For these fajitas, which turned out to be the best chicken fajitas I’ve ever eaten, I decided to modify their recipe only slightly, using more flavorful chicken thighs instead of boneless, skinless breasts. I left out the pickled radishes since radishes are not always easy to come by in a suburban Tennessee grocery store in the dead of winter, and I added cheese and avocado because, well…..cheese and avocado. Oh, and I forgot to mention something: while you’ll be lucky to get two meals out of your twelve dollar disappointment-inducing restaurant fajitas, my best chicken fajitas will make four meals for the average adult.
What are the best chicken fajitas you’ve ever had? You should definitely try my recipe!
Yield: 4 servings
This recipe is adapted slightly from America's Test Kitchen .
30 minPrep Time:
30 minCook Time:
1 hrTotal Time:
- 1/4 Cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
- 3 Tablespoons lime juice
- 6 Cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoons ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1/2 Pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of excess fat)
- 1 Pound poblano peppers (stemmed, halved, and seeded)
- 1 Medium onion (halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 6-inch flour tortillas (I used Old El Paso brand)
- chopped cilantro, lime wedges, sliced avocado, sour cream, grated cheddar or jack cheese (optional-for serving)
- Start the chicken: whisk 3 tablespoons of the oil, two tablespoons of the lime juice, four cloves of garlic, paprika, sugar, one teaspoon of salt, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, and cayenne together in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating, place the poblanos, skin-side-up, on a baking sheet lined with foil. Press down firmly to flatten. Place the peppers under the broiler until the skin is blackened and bubbly, about 8-10 minutes (watch them closely and move the baking sheet around to make sure that every pepper gets charred). Place the peppers in a large bowl and cover. Allow to sit for ten minutes, then rub/peel off the blackened skin and slice the peppers into 1/4-inch strips. Place in a bowl and set aside. Turn off the broiler and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a large, oven-safe skillet until it begins to smoke. Add the onions and cook until they begin to blacken slightly. Add the remaining garlic, the thyme, and the oregano and cook for about thirty seconds. Add the poblano strips, the heavy cream, and the lime juice and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the cream thickens. Remove to a bowl, cover, and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.
- Preheat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high in the wiped-out skillet until it begins to smoke. Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing the excess liquid to drip away before placing it in the skillet. Brown for four minutes on that side then flip and place in the oven for five minutes. Remove the cooked chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for five minutes (leave any accumulated juices in the skillet). While the chicken is resting, warm the tortillas (I do this over the gas flame on my stove then hold them in foil).
- Cut the chicken into 1/4-inch strips and return to the skillet. Warm for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, allowing the marinade to reduce slightly. Warm the reserved peppers and onions-I did this in the microwave for thirty seconds but you could place them in a skillet if you're a purist.
- Serve the chicken, onions, and peppers on the warmed tortillas with the desired toppings.
This recipe takes approximately an hour from start to finish. The prep and cook times listed are approximate.