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July 9, 2014 - 11:08pm

Eat, Cook, Love: Chicken fajitas


Michael Schramm/Daily

I know, another chicken dish. I’ll switch it up next week, but I’m on a #CantStopWontStop roll with the chicken recipes.

4 Tablespoons canola oil
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
1 ½ teaspoons of dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoon of chili powder
1 ½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ red pepper and ½ green pepper
½ cup chopped onion
Optional: cheese, salsa, guacamole and whatever else you put on fajitas

Like my last dish, I know that there’s a lot of ingredients, but most of them are powders and spices that you’ll thank yourself later for stocking up on. IF money’s tight, you could get rid of the oregano or garlic powder, but try to get ‘em all.

24 hours before: Don’t forget to move the chicken from the freezer to the refrigerator.
1-4 hours before:
Combine the lemon juice, half of the canola oil, salt, oregano, cumin, garlic powder and chili powder into a bowl. This will act as the marinade for your chicken.
Take your chicken out and cut it into extremely thin strips. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the fajitas that I made, I noticed that the chicken pieces were a little thick. Trust me, cut them even thinner than you think is thin.
Next, take out a large ziploc bag or bowl and mix the chicken with the sauce. If you have a bag, this means heavily shaking, but if you’re using a bowl, mix it with your hands.
Place the mixture into the refrigerator and let the chicken absorb the sauce for 1-4 hours. You’ll thank yourself for doing this. When I made the fajitas, I thought that I could just let the chicken set in the mix for 10 minutes, but I later realized the mixture hadn’t really absorbed into the meat. The longer the chicken marinades, the better the flavor.
While cooking:
Get a pan out and place the stove heat between 7-8, then let the pan heat up
Chop up the peppers and onions into bite-sized pieces
Next, place the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil into the pan, and then saute the veggies. (Sauteing=stirring vegetables around in a pot with a little bit of oil for 1-2 minutes).
After you’ve sauted the vegetables, place the chicken mix into the pan and let them all cook. (You can tell that the chicken’s done by cutting into the strips’ middle to verify no shades of pink, which indicates raw chicken, remain).
While the fajita mix is cooking, make sure to set up your tortillas, cheese, salsa and whatever else you’re using so that you can be ready to eat when the mix is done.
When the chicken and veggies are done cooking, place it on the tortilla shells and place the remaining mix into a container to save for later. After this, you’re ready to eat!

I hope you’re noticing a similar pattern that I am. When you’ve made other recipes with similar ingredients, new recipes become easier. Chicken Fajitas incorporated many techniques we learned in the previous two recipes. Creating a marinade for the honey mustard chicken was a similar process to making the fajita mix. Mixing the chicken and vegetables into stir-fry was similar to mixing vegetables and chicken into fajitas. These similarities have shown me (and hopefully you) that cooking gets easier with time. The more types of preparation you master, the faster you can learn recipes involving similar ingredients. While I’ll be trying a recipe involving vastly different ingredients next week, keep in mind that similar techniques may pop up which makes the overall cooking process easier.

Quick Food of the Week: Guacamole

To be honest, I’ve never met someone who strongly opposes guacamole. The delicious dip, grounded with a base of avocados, is so delicious. You can purchase some in stores, or you can make a recipe yourself. I made the one that I linked to this week, and I would highly recommend it! Tortilla chips and guacamole make a great snack, appetizer, side dish or addition to chicken fajitas (see what I did there?)

And if you’re looking for more creative ways to incorporate guacamole, here’s an < a href=>article with some suggestions.

Michael Schramm can be reached