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Tex-Mex fajitas are one of our favorite dishes to whip up on a weeknight. They’re unbelievably easy, everyone loves them, and the bright mixture of red, orange, yellow, and green peppers provides vitamin C and other health-boosting nutrients.
First, the tortillas. Have you noticed what an excellent job flour tortillas do of conveying meat and veggies from plate to mouth? And you can always opt for healthier variations, like whole wheat or low-carb. If you like soft corn tortillas, go for those.
Second, the knife. (Seriously, the knife!) Boneless chicken breasts cook in minutes when they’re sliced into strips. But have you ever tried to slice a raw chicken breast? It’s squishy and not so easy to get a hold of — or get a knife into.
Solution: Make sure your knife is super sharp. (If you can’t afford a new knife, you can always buy a knife sharpener).
Another great tip? Slice the breasts when they’re partially frozen. Pop the package you just bought into the freezer for a half-hour before slicing. (You’ll be thanking us for this one for years to come.)
Third, the chicken. If you’ve already got chicken in the freezer (damn, you’re good!) but there’s no time for defrosting, use the cold soak method. Otherwise, splurge on the good, humanely raised, free-range chicken that costs twice as much. It’s worth it — trust us.
Last, the spices. Fajita seasoning doesn’t have to come in a foil packet or jar. You’ll impress the heck out of yourself and your friends by making it at home. Easy-peasy recipe below.
Prep all your ingredients ahead of time. Not only will it make you feel like you’re on your very own cooking show, but your attention will be focused on the actual cooking (that’s what it’s all about, right?) when the meat and veggies hit the hot pan.
- 8 small tortillas
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
- 2½ tablespoons fajita seasoning*
- 2 bell peppers, sliced
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
* Homemade Fajita Seasoning
You can tailor this to your taste (we like it extra-spicy). It’s also easy to mix up a bigger batch so it’s ready next time you get that fajita feeling.
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in oven to warm.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a cast-iron grill pan or frying pan over medium-high heat.
- When the pan is hot, add chicken and sprinkle with three-quarters of fajita seasoning. Let chicken brown before stirring or moving it. Cook for 6 to 10 minutes or until chicken is golden-brown on the outside and white on the inside.
- Transfer chicken to a heatproof bowl and place it in the warm oven.
- Add peppers and onion to the pan, stirring to let the moisture from the veggies release any delicious sticky bits from the pan. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add remaining fajita seasoning and mix it into the oil. Cook until vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Fill warm tortillas with chicken, peppers, and onion. Top with your favorite garnishes, like fresh cilantro.