Chicken Fajitas are a delicious easy dish that every home cook should master. Excellent for Taco Tuesday, Chicken Fajitas always satisfy, but in a healthy way too – pure protein with loads of flavor.
What is a fajita?
First of all, what is a fajita? What does the word mean? The term fajita is Spanish. It’s the diminutive of the word faja which means band or a belt that goes around your waist. Beef cows have a thick diaphragm of muscle inside their abdomen. Butchers call this the skirt steak in English or a faja or fajita in Spanish.
Now as you can probably guess, chickens, shrimp and pigs do not have the same anatomy that a beef cow does. Technically, there is no such thing as a chicken, shrimp or pork fajita. The word fajita has become a cooking style although that is not the original meaning of the word. But if you think of it, we also eat lots of chicken nuggets. As far as I know, a nugget is doesn’t refer to a chicken body part either. We eat plenty of chicken nuggets, right?
The term “fajita” can refer to a cooking method
So if a chicken doesn’t have a fajita, then what part of the chicken do we cook in order to get a classic Chicken Fajita? You should be able to find something at your supermarket called a chicken tender (and no, chicken tenders are not chicken nuggets) sometimes they are called chicken strips. A chicken tender is technically called the pectoralis minor and it sits behind (You guessed it) the pectoralis major which is the chicken breast. It’s a small strip of white meat that is perfect for making Chicken Fajitas.
I know how these Chicken Fajitas are served in restaurants which is on a smoking griddle. The smoking part on the griddle gives a nice brown finish to the chicken. However, you may not want all that smoke in your house. So in the video I posted, I will show you two way to cook your Chicken Fajitas to keep them tender and juicy with that great golden brown finish.Print
Chicken Fajitas are great for beginner cooks
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
1 cup olive or vegetable oil (240ml)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (80ml)
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
2–3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes (6g)
1 tbsp. honey or agave syrup (15ml)
1 tsp. salt (4g)
2 tsp. black pepper (6g)
2 lbs. boneless chicken tenders (2kg)
3 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2–3 tbsp. avocado or vegetable oil
In a medium sized glass bowl, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk together the mixture and set aside.
Place the chicken tenders in a ceramic or glass casserole. Add the sliced bell peppers and onions. Pour the marinade over the chicken and vegetables and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Do not marinade for more than 6 hours.
Add the vegetable oil to a large cast iron skillet. Once the skillet has reached a high heat,* add the marinated chicken and vegetables. Add a bit of the marinade to the pan, but not all. Allow the chicken to pan fry at a high heat for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken meat reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
Serve immediately with warmed tortillas, salsa and taco toppings.
You can cook the fajitas over a live fire or under the broiler of your oven. You can also cook the fajitas on your stovetop, but the high heat cooking process may generate unwanted smoke.