Chicken fajitas are always a crowd pleaser, inexpensive and easy to prepare. In about 30 minutes, you can have a delicious south-of-the-border-inspired meal on the table.
The secret for flavorful and moist chicken is to marinate it overnight. The lemon juice, tequila, onion, garlic and spices not only flavor the chicken, but also make it more tender. I suggest marinating the chicken in a resealable plastic bag so you don't have to dirty a dish.
And, if feeding your family, don't be concerned about the tequila in this recipe. When you put it on the grill, all the alcohol burns off.
This whole meal can be prepared on the grill if you like. Instead of sautéing the peppers and onions, grill them. Even the tortillas can be warmed on the grill. Wrap them in aluminum foil and warm on the grill over direct heat for 2 or 3 minutes.
To serve, arrange the chicken and vegetables on a platter. Be sure to set out an assortment of toppings: Guacamole, pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, to name a few. Your guests will enjoy assembling their own fajitas by putting their favorite ingredients in the tortillas.
Jennifer Chandler is the author of "Simply Salads" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99), "Simply Suppers: Easy Comfort Food Your Whole Family Will Love" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99), and "Simply Grilling" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99. She lives in East Memphis with her husband and two daughters. For more recipes and dinner time solutions, visit cookwithjennifer.com.
Tequila Chicken Fajitas
For the chicken:
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. tequila
1 tbsp. hot sauce
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
Vegetable oil, for the grates
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the fajitas:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (1 small onion)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
8 flour tortillas, warmed
1 cup guacamole (optional garnish)
1 cup pico de gallo (optional garnish)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional garnish)
To make the chicken: In a shallow, nonreactive dish just large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer, stir together the lemon juice, tequila, hot sauce, olive oil, onion, garlic and cayenne pepper. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover, place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight. Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess. Discard the marinade. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the grill. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
To make the fajitas: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Add the onion, red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. To serve, thinly slice the chicken across the grain. Arrange the chicken and vegetables on a platter. Serve with warmed tortillas and your favorite toppings. Encourage diners to make their own fajitas by putting the ingredients in the tortillas. Serves 4.
Cooking tips: It is best to marinate the chicken overnight. If short on time, marinate for at least 2 hours. This recipe can easily be made indoors on a grill pan.