Grilled Chicken Fajitas
Let’s talk Grilled Chicken Fajitas!
Sizzle Sells… I’m sure you’ve been to a Mexican Restaurant and seen waiters run through the dining room with a smoking hot skillet full of sizzling meat and vegetables. This always gets my attention and you have to love the sounds and smells coming from this dish.
Fajitas are one of my favorite Mexican dishes and I want to share with you how I create Grilled Chicken Fajitas right at home.
I use white and dark meat chicken when I grill fajitas. I love the flavor and moisture dark meat gives this dish and honestly once you get everything sliced you really can’t tell the difference.
For this recipe I’m using 2lbs each of Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast and Thighs. In order to get the breast to cook more even I butterfly each one by making a thin cut on the back side and then opening up the sides.
This causes the breast to lay flat and helps it cook at the same rate as the thighs so everything is pretty much done at the same time. The thighs require very little trimming just remove any excess fat from each piece; place all the meat in a large zip lock bag.
The flavor in fajitas comes from the marinade. You can buy a quick fajita marinade at the grocery store but I have a simple recipe that I use.
Chicken Fajita Marinade
- ½ cup Vegetable Oil
- ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 6oz Mexican Beer (can substitute water or chicken broth)
- ¼ cup Lime Juice
- ¼ cup Fajita Seasoning*
- 1 Tablespoon Table Sugar
- ¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon Killer Hogs The AP Rub
- ¼ cup Chili Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- 2 teaspoons Oregano
Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and pour over the chicken pieces. Be sure to move everything around in the bag so the marinade covers it; and rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before grilling.
While the chicken is hanging out in the marinade, I like to mix a spicy sour cream.
- 8oz of sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons of your favorite Mexican style Hot Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon of Fajita Seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh lime juice
This is adds a little extra flavor to plain-old sour cream and goes great when serving. Store it in the refrigerator until time to serve.
Also this is a good time to slice up the vegetables. The standard for me is bell pepper (any color), onion, and jalapeño. Cut each into thin strips and stage them on a platter for cooking after the chicken is done.
Now it’s time to fire up the grill. I’m using a PK 360 for this cook but any type grill will do the job. The temperature should be around 400⁰ (medium high) and lightly oil the cooking grate to prevent sticking.
Remove each piece of chicken from the marinade and allow any excess to drip off. You can add an extra pinch of fajita seasoning to both sides if you want just for extra flavor. I usually do this on the grill as I’m cooking.
Place each piece of chicken on the cooking grate and don’t go too far away. The total cook time is about 16-18 minutes for this cook and you’ll want to flip the chicken a few times during the cook.
Just keep an eye on things and move the pieces around the grill as they cook. You want each piece to char a little on each side (this gives it flavor).
I trust my Thermapen to tell me when chicken is done. The breasts need to go to at least 165⁰ internal and the thighs need 175⁰. If you don’t have a thermometer just make sure the juice is running clear. (cut into them and check if you need to).
Once the chicken is done, place it on a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Place a flat iron skillet directly on the cooking grate. Add a little olive oil and toss in the veggies. Season them with a good pinch or two of the fajita seasoning and cook until tender. It’ll take about 10 minutes just move them around as necessary.
While the vegetables cook down, wrap several flour tortillas in aluminum foil and place alongside the iron skillet. This is a great way to warm them for serving.
Just as the peppers and onions are getting done; cut the chicken pieces into bite size strips.
Move the vegetables over to one side of the skillet and add the chicken. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and head straight to the table. You’ll want to wear insulated gloves for this because the iron skillet is smoking hot.
These fajitas are ready to serve, family style, along with the warm tortillas, sour cream, and any other toppings you desire.
I like fresh Pico and more cilantro with mine, but let everyone build their own. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!!
Grilled Chicken Fajitas