Usually when I plan our dinners for the week, I check the weather so I can anticipate what we’ll be in the mood for, save the soups and stews for rainy days, that kind of thing. This week I didn’t and ended up having to grill in gloomy, gray, 50 degree weather. Nice.
Despite that, we had a warm, indoor fajita fiesta! Fajitas probably don’t come to mind when you’re thinking of an easy meal. What makes this parent-friendly is the fact that you can get everything ready in increments throughout the day, 15 minutes here and there, and by dinner time you’ve got an awesome meal. Or, you can prep everyone the night before. Tip: Make extra chicken and peppers that will be transformed into awesomely easy quesadillas for dinner the next day. I’ll show you how. You won’t regret it, I promise!
We’ll start with the chicken marinade. Ingredients, assemble!!!
I gotta give credit where credit is due, I only made a few changes to this recipe from Spiced. I searched for a copycat Chili’s chicken fajita recipe and this looked like the best one. I left out the cayenne for the little, I didn’t boil the water, and threw everything in a gallon bag. I got the chicken marinating while my son was eating his lunch.
Later in the afternoon, the little was happily playing by himself (though not for long, as you can see), so I took the opportunity to prepare the pico de gallo.
After chasing down the pepper thief, I managed to dice all the produce. The pico is totally flexible, so adjust ingredients to your taste. Like more spice? Add a another jalapeno or two. Love cilantro? Use the whole bunch. I used maybe half to three-quarters of it. Finish everything off with a little bit of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt, stirring and tasting as you go.
I also made some guacamole, but I used a seasoning packet. I know, I know, but everything can’t always be from scratch, right?
Lastly, prep your veggies. I did mine about an hour before grill time. I used the Spiced blog’s recipe for the vegetable finishing sauce as a marinade, my change being not boiling the water. Note: The onions did not grill very well cut like this. I think I cut them too thin.
I cooked everything on the grill. However, I bet this would be just as good cooked on an indoor grill or in a cast iron skillet on the stove top. Since the chicken marinade has the liquid smoke in it, you won’t be totally missing out on that smoky goodness.
Grilled Chicken Fajitas
Chicken Marinade Ingredients:
- 4 to 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Vegetable Marinade Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1 red onion
- Pico de Gallo
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Sour cream
- In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except for chicken.
- Add chicken and marinade to gallon bag or other storage container and refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight.
- Mix all vegetable marinade ingredients. Slice vegetables. Combine all ingredients in gallon bag and refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight.
- Preheat grill. Over medium-high heat, grill chicken and vegetables, until done and internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees.
- Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice chicken and vegetables. Serve with warm tortillas and toppings of your choice.
Pico de Gallo
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt, to taste
- Dice all vegetables.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir, tasting occasionally and adjusting to taste.