Friday, November 18, 2011

Challenge recipe 15: Chicken fajitas

I realised the other day that the last time I made anything for my Cookbook Challenge was waaaaaaaaaaay back in JUNE when I made Portuguese custard tarts and raspberry souffles in the one weekend. I figured it was about time I rectified my slacking and make use of my cookbooks again!

I bought this book a couple of years ago, but I think the only recipes I've ever made are some kind of salsa and guacamole. I actually cheated a little on the recipe - you're meant to make the tortillas from scratch. But I was trying to make dessert at the same time. Plus, I didn't want to buy an entire container of lard (yes, seriously. And EEEEEUW.) for the small quantity the tortilla recipe called for. So I cheated and bought pre-made ones. They were fine, not surprisingly!

Anyway, here's the book:

And here's what you'll need:

Start by zesting the limes. If you're lucky and live in somewhere that's NOT Australia, you probably won't be sobbing over the amount of money you had to spend buying 2 limes as you zest (Seriously - they're $2.50 EACH):

Once you've finished zesting, stick the limes in the microwave for 15 seconds or so, and then squeeze them. When it comes to limes, I never bother with a juicer. I just squeeze them straight into the bowl:

Then add two tablespoons of caster sugar...

...a teaspoon of dried oregano...

...a teaspoon of cinnamon...

...and half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Mix it all together. Trim and slice up the three chicken breasts, and dump them in to marinate for at least half an hour:

While the meat is marinating, thinly slice the three capsicums and the onion:

When the meat has had its half an hour of marinating, heat a couple of spoonfuls of oil in a frying pan and dump the meat in, marinade and all:

Let it cook for about five minutes, then add in the vegetables:

Cook for another couple of minutes. While it's cooking, prepare some toppings:

I had intended to use mashed avocado, but all the avocados at the supermarket were rock hard, so we had to make do with store bought guacamole... Oh, and the cheese is not included in the list of toppings suggested by the book. But this is me we're talking about, so cheese is pretty much obligatory! Feel free to leave it out.

Dump the chicken mixture into the bowl and forget to wipe down the sides before you take a photo make it look all purdy:

Serve thusly!

The verdict? They're pretty freaking awesome. It's quite a bit different to your stereotypical fajitas. It tastes clean and fresh thanks to the lime juice, rather than having that smoky taste that fajitas tend to have. The cinnamon adds unexpected flavour over the lime. And veggies were quite moist and juicy rather than having that slightly caramelised outside crunch. I guess that's the difference when there's a marinade involved rather than a dry spice mixture! The next time I make it, I might try not including the dregs of the marinade and see what happens. I might also try cooking the veggies first, taking them out of the pan, cooking the chicken and *then* combining it at the last minute to see if it'll retain some of the crunch.

Basically? It's really quick and easy. The marinade took about five minutes to make, and you'd have to chop the veggies and the meat even if you were using the packet spice mix. Sure, you have to allow half an hour for the meat to marinate. But it's totally worth it. Oh, and don't replace the limes with lemons. Sure, they may be four times the price for something half the size. But you can really taste that gorgeous, tropical, lime flavour in the end product.

Give them a go and let me know what you think!!

K xx

1 comment:

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