Texas

Tequila-Lime Chicken Fajitas

by Shawnda on March 6, 2014

in Chicken & Poultry,Cinco de Mayo,Citrus,Lime,Mexican & TexMex,On the grill,Texas

Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

It’s grilling season. Kind of.

And by kind of, I mean there are currently icicles hanging off the new grill. The new grill I bought specifically to make these fajitas.

Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

Of course there are icicles. Because this is Texas and Spring Break is 3 days away and the Bluebonnets and Paints are already peeking out along 71 near LaGrange. So it’s time to nuke everyone’s happiness with garden-crushing temperatures and “Thundersleet.”

So I guess that makes them Thundercicles™.

They can take our beautifully deceptive spring weather, but they can’t take our tequila. Unless it’s after 9pm or Sunday and then there’s no place open to buy tequila.

(Tequila. It makes the intolerable aspects of Texas slightly more tolerable.) (™)

Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

Chicken breasts are marinated in, essentially, a margarita. Then they’re grilled to charred perfection and served wrapped in fluffy tortilas with grilled vegetables, pico de gallo, and avocado. And washed down with a pitcher of margaritas.

Happy Another Texas Spring Break Spent in a Sweater!

Tequila-Lime Chicken Fajitas

Juicy chicken fajitas marinated in tequila and lime.

Ingredients

  • For the marinade:
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 oz (3 Tbsp) tequila
  • 1 tsp of chile powder
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • For serving
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, cut into 1/3-inch rounds
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • Small flour tortillas
  • Pico de gallo
  • Sliced avocado

Instructions

  1. Place the marinade ingredients into a gallon freezer bag and squeeze to mix.
  2. Add the chicken, seal, turn to coat, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Longer is better.)
  3. Oil grates and heat grill to medium-high.
  4. Drizzle onion rounds, bell pepper slices, and cut ends of the lime with olive oil and place on the grill (if your grates are very large, grill on folded-to-double-thickness foil with slats cut through it).
  5. Add the chicken and cook for 6-7 minutes and then flip everything (veggies included) and cook for 6-7 minutes more until veggies are nicely charred and juices run clear from the chicken.
  6. Let chicken rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. Serve chicken on tortillas, topped with grilled veggies, pico, avocado, and a squeeze of grilled lime.

Notes

Yields: 8 fajitas

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 35 minutes

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King Ranch Chicken Casserole

That is King Ranch Chicken Casserole. And it’s Texas’ contribution to the category of amorphous, 50-Shades-of-Brown, one-dish comfort foods that taste far, far better than they look.

But I’m not doing it justice.

To describe King Ranch Chicken a little more favorably – and in a manner totally worthy of that warm bowl of comfort that’s perfect for a chilly Texas fall night – think of it as a cross between a TexMex lasagna that’s made with tortillas rather than pasta and a chicken pot pie that’s lighter on the vegetables and sports a topping of corn tortillas and golden brown and bubbly cheese rather than a flakey pie crust.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Absent in this casserole are the much-maligned cream-of soups. If you want to use them, you can. But making the homemade cream-of soup that serves as the base for King Ranch Chicken is only slightly more work than cranking open a couple of cans with a manual opener. And you get to take a pass on all those 15-letter ingredients and the extra sodium.

Present in this casserole is a generous dose of green chiles for mild warmth and a mountain of shredded cheese to contribute to that oozy, melty, and magical amorphous blob.

Did I do it justice that time? Good. Now get out your grocery list and let’s get to work.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Put it on your menu for a stretch of cold nights this winter when your schedule would high-five your for 2 nights of scoop-and-reheat leftovers. Put it on your menu for a week when store-roasted rotisseries go on sale. Put it on your menu to crush those Thanksgiving dark-meat turkey leftovers.

Either way. You’re gonna want to put it on your menu soon.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

The ultimate in Texas comfort food, this casserole is made with homemade cream of chicken sauce and corn tortillas.

Ingredients

  • For the chicken:
  • 2.5-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts (or the meat from 1 precooked rotisserie chicken)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • For the cream sauce:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1/2 cup cream (I use fat-free greek yogurt instead)
  • 10 oz can of Rotel tomatoes
  • 4 oz can of green or hatch chiles, drained
  • For the casserole
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mix of white and yellow cheddars and monterrey jack)

Instructions

  1. If cooking your own chicken, preheat oven to 425. (If not, you just shaved 30 minutes off dinner prep!)
  2. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper (or your favorite general seasoning).
  3. Divide it into 2-3 foil pouches and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Let sit for 5 minutes before shredding.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, make the cream sauce and reduce the oven to 350.
  6. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan or pot over medium-high heat.
  7. Cook the onion, bell pepper, and garlic for ~10 minutes, until softened and there's no standing liquid left.
  8. Stir in the chili powder, red pepper, cumin, salt, and black pepper.
  9. Add the flour in 2 batches, stirring until all traces of white are gone.
  10. Add 3 cups of the chicken stock to the pot, 1 cup at a time, whisking until smooth.
  11. Whisk in the cream (or yogurt), and add the Rotel (do not drain it first) and the peppers.
  12. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  13. Reserve 1 cup of cream sauce before adding the chicken to the pot.
  14. Lightly oil the bottom and a 13x9 baking dish and place the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock into a bowl wide enough to hold the tortillas.
  15. Dip the tortillas into the stock (I did stacks of 4 at a time) and line the bottom of the baking dish so that the tortillas are 2 wide and 4 long.
  16. Pour half of the chicken mixture into the baking dish and top with 1/3 of the cheese.
  17. Add another layer of dipped-tortillas in the same manner, lightly pressing on them to level the contents of the pan.
  18. Top with the remaining chicken mixture and 1/3 of the cheese.
  19. Add the final layer of dipped-tortillas and press on them to level out the dish.
  20. Spread the reserved cream sauce over the tortillas and top with the remaining cheese.
  21. Bake for 45 minutes, until bubbly and the top of the casserole is golden brown.
  22. Let sit 10-15 minutes to firm up before cutting into 12-squares and serving.

Notes

Yields: 12 servings

Slightly adapted from The Pastry Queen

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Pineapple-Marinated Beef Fajitas

This is what I look forward to most, living in southeast Texas. Not fajitas, but this time of year. (Although, let’s be honest – has any culture produced a more amazing, fascinating cuisine that even gets close to TexMex?)

It’s open-windows during the day, almost-cool-enough-to-consider-a-light-cardigan over a tank top at night.
These next few weeks? They’re why we put up with 6 months of soul-sucking heat and oppressive humidity.

We don’t get acres of beautiful trees ablaze with oranges and reds and golds. Actually, it would be a lot easier to sum up “fall in Texas” with a single red leaf on a small-tree-sized weed behind the back fence.

IMG_5132

That’s it, y’all :)

And you can easily identify those Texans who have been counting down the days for a break from the convection oven weather – they’re the ones who went full-on boots, jeans, scarves, and puffy jackets at preschool drop-off last week at 68 degrees. And returned for preschool pick-up in shorts & flip flops.

Those Texans, minus the puffy jackets, they look a lot… EXACTLY… like me :)

We’re the ones crowding the patios for dinner under the lights with a pitcher of margaritas and platters of sizzling fajitas at the table right next to the overkill patio heater. The ones with the pool heater on because the water is already to cold to swim without it.

It’s all the best parts of spring, only there’s football being played somewhere nearby, 5 nights a week. And beautiful weather calls for beautiful food.

Pineapple Marinated Beef Fajitas

These fajitas are the perfect example of how we’ve had a hard time this “fall” getting into heavier, comfort foods. We’re still hanging on a little bit longer before free-falling off the cliff into the creamy casserole canyon. But I have to admit – it’s not that far off. King Ranch Chicken, here we come!

Pineapple-Marinated Beef Fajitas

Juicy flank steak tenderized with a fresh pineapple marinade.

Ingredients

  • For the marinade:
  • 1/2-inch thick slice of fresh pineapple, core removed*
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 lb flank steak (or your favorite cut for fajitas)
  • For serving
  • Diced pineapple
  • 6-8 tortillas
  • Cilantro
  • Sliced fresh jalapeno
  • Diced red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Plain yogurt or sour cream
  • * If you're using canned pineapple, go with 2 slices and the juice from the can.

Instructions

  1. Place the flank steak in a large zipper bag.
  2. Place the marinade ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Pour over the flank steak, seal the bag, and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes only - do not marinate it longer than 30 minutes. Pineapple is an ultra-tenderizer and it will turn your meat into mush if left in contact too long.
  4. While the steak is marinating, chop the rest of the toppings and prepare any sides.
  5. Heat your grill or grill pan to high.
  6. Cook the flank steak ~4 minutes on each side for medium (~5-6 for medium well).
  7. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing against the grain, holding your knife at an angle when cutting.
  8. Serve in warmed tortillas, topped with red onion, pineapple, jalapeno, cilantro, and a dollop of yogurt/sour cream.

Notes

Yields: 6-8 fajitas

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour

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