Fajitas [fa-HEE-tas], though having Mexican ancestry, actually emerged out of Texas in recent decades. Initially fajitas contained grilled, spice-marinated beef skirt steak, sliced thinly and rolled up in medium-sized flour tortillas. Marinated strips of chicken, or lamb or shrimp now often serve as the centerpiece.
Hearty and casual, fajitas are entertainment food. The tortillas, fried meat and vegetables, plus various condiments can be laid out buffet-style and diners assemble and roll their own fajitas.
The recipe fills 4 to 6 hearty fajitas.
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice for marinating plus 1 tablespoon for cooking
1 teaspoon salt for marinating chicken, plus 1/4 teaspoon for cooking
4 teaspoons chili powder (or see my preferred substitute below*)
1 medium-small onion
1 medium or half a large red bell pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil for meat plus 1 tablespoon for vegetables
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
Flour tortillas (8-inch diameter) for serving
Trim off tough or fatty parts from chicken. Slice chicken pieces crosswise into thin slices (1/4 inch). If slices are long, cut them in half. Marinate chicken 20 minutes or more with lime juice, salt and chili powder or alternative spice mixture*.
*Alternative spice mixture
2 1/4 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon (or more) cayenne