Chicken fajitas and a big ol’ pitcher of margaritas just scream summer, don’t they? They’re fun, refreshing, and easy to whip up at any time. The one drawback, for me, has been that I’m not crazy about heating up my kitchen more than necessary in the summer.
And then I discovered an easy cast iron recipe in Martha Stewart Living, just perfect for making outside on the grill. Now really, why didn’t I think of that? It’s a simple 3 step process with few dishes to clean:
1. Prepare garlic chili oil and heat while working on Step 2.
2. Light gas grill, place cast iron pan on grate (if using a charcoal grill, you’ll switch steps 1 and 2). Chop vegetables and chicken, grate cheese, prepare guacamole and salsa, if desired.
3. Cook the fajitas.
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living, June 2009
for the garlic oil:
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp lime juice
for the fajitas:
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts (or thighs)
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 small red onion
1 T canola oil
tortillas, if desired
shredded cheddar cheese
1. Prepare the garlic oil. In a small saucepan, combine the ingredients for the garlic oil and heat over low heat for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. While the oil is heating, light a gas grill on high heat and place cast iron frying pan in the grill to heat up (you want this pan screaming hot). Slice the peppers and onions into thin slices and place on a plate. Slice the chicken into thin slices, season with some salt and pepper, and place on a plate or pie plate. Prep the garnish ingredients, and remove the garlic oil from heat.
3. Take the chicken, peppers & onions, canola oil, and a large bowl to the grill with you. Pour about a tablespoon or two of canola oil into frying pan (remember, this pan is very, very hot – do not touch, even with a pot holder!). Add the peppers and onions first and cook, stirring frequently with a heatproof spoon or spatula (silicone or wood will work best), until the peppers start to soften. Add chicken, and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken mixture to a large bowl. Pour garlic oil over chicken and stir to coat. If using tortillas, you can either throw them directly onto the grill for a few seconds, or use a gas burner (I use my side burner) – simple toss the tortilla directly over the flame for a few seconds, and flip. It will only take a minute or so to warm all of the tortillas. (Alternatively, you can also wrap all tortillas in foil and place in a 300* oven while you’re cooking the chicken mixture.)
Serve chicken mixture over fajitas with desired garnishes.
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
1 tsp minced shallot
2 tsp lime juice
Cut the avocado in half and scoop out the flesh into a small bowl. Add diced tomato, shallot, and lime juice; stir to combine. Immediately cover with plastic wrap (put the plastic directly on the guacamole) until ready to serve. Store any leftovers in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.