Posted by johngl
A sure sign of Spring in the most glorious household, besides a truly abundant display from the Tangerine Crossvines we planted a couple of years ago:
is the grilling of some marinated chicken breasts for fajitas!
To begin, you will need some boneless and skinless chicken breasts.
The marinade is all important. It must contain lime juice. And tequila. There are hundreds of different recipes out there, but I’m going with this one:
For four chicken breasts…
1/2 cup Mexican beer (Modelo Especial – cuz I have it on hand)
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (key limes are good for this)
1 shot of Tequila (your choice)
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin (more if you’re feeling bold)
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh cilantro (adjust according to your own preferences)
1 teaspoon of brown sugar (preferably the cone shaped Mexican kind)
A tablespoon or two of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of chili pequin powder (any hot pepper flakes will do)
Throw all of this into a blender or food processor and whir until nicely emulsified.
Put the chicken breasts into a zip topped bag, add the marinade, remove as much air as possible, pop it in the fridge and let it sit overnight (at least).
For the grilling part, allow the chicken to warm up a bit, say 60 degrees, then pull it from the bag and place it upon your hot grilling surface and put on the lid leaving just a crack in the vents. I use my charcoal fired Weber Kettle for this operation.
After about 4 minutes, take the lid off and flip the chicken. There should be some really nice grill marks upon it. (sorry, no pictures. I was “in the moment”). Put the lid back on and let the breasts finish out on a lower heat (keeping the vents shut down allows the chicken to bake rather than burn). The whole cooking process takes about 15 to 20 minutes. I can’t really give you an exact time table because there are many variables: temp of chicken when you start, temp of the charcoal, type of grill, ambient air temp, etc etc.
All I can say is try not to overcook the damn chicken! So many people are worried about Sam and Ella coming over for an unpleasant visit that they cook everything to death. Chicken gets rubbery when overcooked and that is not, as Alton would say, Good Eats.
Get your other ingredients together:
As you can see, you need to slice the chicken breasts.
Don’t forget the avocado…
and the refried beans…
and the caramelized onions (these are essential!)
Put all of this stuff together on a large flour tortilla (I don’t bother with those little ones any longer) and you will have a fajita taco that is truly magnificent. Almost as much as this display: