Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Restaurant-Good Fajitas!

I've been thinking of posting this on here for awhile, but whenever I make this recipe I get so excited I forget about all else- including taking photos of the process! But this time I made sure to document it all so I could share it with you, dear readers.

I LOOOOVE fajitas, especially the kind you get at Mexican restaurants where they serve it to you on a cast iron skillet with fresh tortillas. YUM. Unfortunately, every time I got a "fajita" spice mix or frozen "fajitas" meal from the store, they never even remotely resembled the restaurant fajitas I love. 

After some searching I came across a fajita marinade recipe from Allrecipes.com that hit the nail on the head! 

Restaurant-Good Fajitas

1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I use red pepper flakes instead)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Step 1. Mix together ingredients for marinade; cut your chicken (I usually use 2 large breasts) into thin strips and marinate for 30 minutes-2 hours. 

Step 2. Scoop chicken out of marinade and cook in large skillet on HIGH heat until outsides turn white. Don't cook for too long or chicken will become tough. Remove chicken and set aside, keeping it warm.

Step 3. You'll need onions and multicolored peppers- I just keep it simple and use 2 packages of frozen. Less chopping that way! But fresh works too.

Step 4. Using the same pan you cooked the chicken in, cook your onions and peppers (this gives them some of that fajita flavor too). Personally, I think that to make this dish more authentic you kind of have to cook them to oblivion- in the photo above, there's lots of liquid still...

 ...but in this photo you'll see how the liquid has evaporated and the onions have kind of caramelized- this gives the dish that amazing tangy sweetness. You have to wait until you actually have to kind of scrape the onions & peppers off the pan. Ohhhh so good.

Step 5. Add your chicken back into the mix- stir well and you'll see the chicken kind of get this golden coating from the veggies. YUM.

Step 6. What do you want with your yummy fajita mix? I personally love to eat mine over a bed of Chipotle rice- yeah, the same kind you get at Chipotle restaurant! You can find the recipe here or do like I do- just use basmati rice, use a little less than twice as much water as rice except replace some of the water (a few tablespoons) with lime juice and then add extra salt. Once the rice is done cooking, mix in a few tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro. 

Another great option is to serve this on freshly-made warm tortillas. Yes, you can make these at home! I pinned it and I did it! Find the recipe here.

Step 7. Devour. And think about opening your own Mexican restaurant with your mad fajita-cooking skills.

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