Cool Kitchen Chicken Fajitas

21 Jul

Had a hankering for chicken fajitas last night, which normally means hauling out my cast iron skillet (for caramelizing onions) and my cast iron grill pan (for the chicken and other veggies). No big deal, except it’s been deadly hot around here this week and two burners (three, if I use my two-burner grill) firing up at once seemed a little melty to me.

I’m a big fan of my Crockpot, but I like my fajitas grilled. In a fit of curiosity, I hauled out my George Foreman Grill. Don’t tell me there’s not one gathering dust in the far reach of a high cabinet in your house, because you’re lying and I know it. I hadn’t used mine in at least two years. But I got it wiped down and plugged in and beeping away, and know what?

First, the fajitas kicked butt. Seriously. Seared peppers with beautiful char marks and grilled chicken with tons of flavor.

And second, grilling these on the Foreman took half the time of using my cast iron pan. Honest injun.

(My friends from Texas are all cringing and gagging right now. Sorry, ladies. I’m sure this is some kind of sin against nature in your eyes. You can use your real grills and call me an east-coast grill wimp. It’s all good.)

A few notes:

A trick I learned from Bobby Flay is to sprinkle onions with chili powder (I like this one) when you’re caramelizing them. Just a little bit–a dusting. Such a huge flavor boost, and the spicy/sweet thing is irresistible. I could eat a whole bowl of just these onions.

A trick I learned…somewhere…is to slice the chicken super thin across the width of the breast, not lengthwise. It grills perfectly when it’s really thin, and cutting it against the grain like that makes it deliciously juicy, even grilled.

The rest is self-explanatory. This recipe serves my family for two nights. Ready?

Chicken Fajitas

Three boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced very thin widthwise

One sweet onion, cut in half and then sliced, rings separated

One red bell pepper, cut into strips

Two green bell peppers, cut into strips

A pinch of chili powder

Fajita seasoning (I like this one but I buy it at thespicehunter.com)

Two tablespoons of olive oil

One tablespoon of butter

Tortillas

Add-ins–guacomole, salsa, sour cream, cheese, etc.

Heat up a cast iron or other heavy skillet over medium-low heat. When it’s hot, add the butter (which is great for browning and flavor and raises the smoke point of the oil) and olive oil and swirl them around. Add the onions and sprinkle them with the chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and delicious, like this:

When they’re done, drain them on a folded paper towel laid on a plate.

In the meantime, heat up your Foreman grill or grill pan. My Foreman lets me set a temperature, and I cranked it all the way to 425. Let yours get as hot as it can or put your grill pan on medium-high. Grill your peppers on both sides until they start to char. Remove from the grill.

Sprinkle your sliced chicken with fajita seasoning on both sides. Grill on both sides until cooked through and it has nice grill marks. Mix with the peppers and onions and serve on tortillas with your add-ins.

If you really want a “wow” with this, grill up some jalapeno peppers when the chicken and veggies are finished, but do it last or everything will have a bite to it. And if you’re low-carbing it, just eat your fajitas as a salad, over greens or spinach, using your salsa and other fixings as dressing.

We eat this about every other week and nobody ever complains. And now I don’t even have to heat up the kitchen to do it.

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One Response to “Cool Kitchen Chicken Fajitas”

  1. Laura Beutler August 31, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    I’m not embarassed to say I use my Foreman with some regularity – usually for grilled sandwiches and burgers. Just never thought about veggies too. I’ve been grilling outside at 8am just to beat this stupid heat, but the old GF might do the trick too. Gracias!

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