Chicken and steak fajitas made with meat marinated in lime juice, oil, and spices, then grilled alongside peppers and onions and drizzled with reserved marinade.
My first real job was in high school when I got hired to work as a server at a little Mexican restaurant in North Platte, Nebraska. I really enjoyed that job: taking orders from customers, always having a little cash in my pocket, as many fresh chips as I could eat. We had a typical menu for a Mexican restaurant in Nebraska and my favorite dish to serve were chicken and steak fajitas that always went out from the kitchen on sizzling skillets. Here’s a little secret – the sizzling skillets are just a restaurant trick accomplished by heating the skillet over a flame and then dropping a pat of butter on it, followed by the chicken or steak fajita filling and delivering it still smoking and spitting to the customer). The smell of the grilled onions and peppers and the wonderful chicken and steak was just amazing. If I close my eyes I can go right back to that kitchen and that time of my life on that memory alone.
Paul LOVES chicken or steak fajitas and it is one of his favorite meals for me to make at home, even though it is also usually what he orders if we happen to eat out at a Mexican restaurant. Fajitas are an empowering food because they give the person eating them some of the decision-making usually belonging to the chef. Want a higher meat to pepper and onion ratio? Go for it! More cheese in that fajita? Don’t mind if I do.
These fajitas are my favorite and blow any fajitas I have ever ordered at a restaurant right out of the water. The meat is marinated in a little lime juice, oil, and spices and then grilled to perfection right alongside the red and yellow peppers and onions, then they all get sliced and drizzled with a little reserved marinade (which you will want to set aside before marinating the meat). Serve ’em up with plenty of soft flour tortillas, sour cream, guacamole and shredded cheese and everybody is happy.
- 1 lb. chicken and steak
- 2-3 red and yellow bell peppers, stem and membranes removed and chopped into quarters
- 1 large onion, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 teaspoons vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Place the meat and vegetables in large, separate ziploc bags. In a bowl, combine all marinade ingredients and whisk well. Reserve 3-4 tablespoons of marinade for later, then using the remaining marinade, add a splash to the vegetables for a light coating, then add the remaining marinade to the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. When grill is hot, place everything on at the same time. Cook the meat for a few minutes on each side until cooked through (165 degrees F for chicken and 135 degrees F for medium-rare steak and 140 degrees F for medium). Cook vegetables until crisp tender and slightly charred.
Remove meat and vegetables from grill and slice into strips on a cutting board. Drizzle with the reserved marinade before serving with any of the following: flour tortillas, guacamole, sour cream, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, black beans, cilantro-lime or Spanish rice, and pico de gallo.
Recipe lightly adapted from Our Best Bites cookbook.
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