Monday, June 06, 2005

Recipe Blogging: FrazzledDad Fajitas

We loves fajitas with grilled chicken or flank steak, but I don't have energy and time on weekdays to do the entire production of marinating, getting the grill going, charing the flesh, etc. This recipe's a quick and easy variant that's probably guaranteed to irritate the Authenticity Police. Too damned bad.

FrazzledDad Chicken Fajitas

2 chicken breasts, boned and skinned olive oil fajita seasoning (see Notes) 1 lime, cut in half
  • Lay one chicken breast out on your cutting board (see Notes) and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or wine bottle (see Notes), smack the breast until it's nicely thinned and flattened. Work from the center out.
  • Smear the breast on both sides with a bit of olive oil, then cover liberally with fajita seasoning. Repeat the smashing and seasoning with the other breast. Cover the breasts with the plastic wrap and set aside for a few minutes to let the flavors develop a bit.
  • Heat a skillet to medium-high. Drizzle in a bit of olive oil (boy, oh boy would a bit of bacon grease be wonderful here!), then slap in the chicken breasts. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes, then flip. Continue cooking for 2 - 4 minutes until nicely caramelized and cooked through.
  • One or two minutes after flipping the breasts, squeeze the juice from the lime over the top. Don't do this right after flipping the meat -- the liquid will interfere with the meat caramelizing and getting a nice brown color. (Caramelization's vitally important for developing the best flavor from the meat, too!)
  • Remove the breasts from the pan, cover with aluminum foil, put a couple kitchen towels on top of that (better heat insulation prevents the meat from cooling off!), and leave to rest for a few minutes.
  • Slice into strips and serve with tortillas, sour cream, seared onions, salsa, and the kitchen sink.
  • I prefer fajita seasoning from Penzey's or Bolner's/Fiesta.
  • If you don't have a meat mallet (and I don't), a wine bottle works great for tenderizing and flattening. I don't use the side of the bottle, but rather the bottom of it. I think that best imitates the action of a real meat mallet. YMMV. I'd also say one should use only bottles from the Savennieres, Chinon, or Barolo regions, but that may be overly picky.
  • Regarding cutting boards and poultry: Things being what they are with poultry, I'm an advocate of not working with poultry on wood boards. I've got a plastic cutting board I use whenever I'm working poultry. It also gets an occasional washing with a bleach/water mix to kill off any nasty buggers leftover from the poultry.

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