Chicken Fajitas – quick, easy, delicious and healthy meal that would be great on weekly rotation menu. Tender and juicy chicken thighs served with strips of colorful crisp-charred bell peppers, onions and avocado slices. A no-fuss complete meal!
This week marks the last week of the month and a preparation to one of our popular cultural celebrations here in the U.S. – Cinco de Mayo (or Fifth of May in English). If February is for Black History Month, the rest of the U.S. also celebrates with the Mexican-American community every 5th of May to commemorate the Battle of Puebla – an underdog victory by Mexico over France.
Although it wasn’t Mexico’s official Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo evolved into a day to celebrate the Mexican culture here in the U.S. particularly in areas with large population of Mexican-Americans. This special day is noted for fun parties, parades, Mexican folk dancing, mariachi music and, of course, Mexican food (oooh..that’s the best part for me).
What Is Fajita?
Fajita is from the word”faja” which means “belt”or girdle in English that refers to the grilled skirt steak in Tex-Mex (Texan-American) cuisine. Some would claim that it was the Texans who came up with this, but actually it was the Mexican ranch workers living in West Texas that gave birth to this dish in late 1930s or early 1940s. These workers were given this tough cut of meat as a partial payment for their wages and later on learned how to make good use of it.
As like everything else, the word fajita has evolved and can be made with a variety of fillings such as green/yellow/red bell peppers, onions, chiles, jalapenos, etc. alongside with other popular cuts of meat like chicken or beef. In recent years, fajitas are served in restaurants in a sizzling metal platter or skillet along with other Tex-Mex favorites.
What Is The Difference Between Fajitas and Tacos?
For those who aren’t quite familiar yet between these two, here’s a handy explanation to keep it short and simple: a fajita can be wrapped inside a tortilla and be called TACO, while a taco cannot be called a FAJITA.
- Fajita is the term that refers to the cut of meat while a taco can be filled with beef, chicken to pork along with other add-ons.
- A fajita can be served in a sizzling platter or simply with a skillet while a taco consists of wheat or corn tortilla and with different fillings.
- So yes, you can technically say “I wanna eat a Chicken Fajita Tacos”.
How to Cook Chicken Fajitas?
While you can easily buy a Fajita seasoning packets at the grocery store, I prefer to use my new homemade Taco Seasoning which is a lot more flavorful than Fajita seasoning. In terms of flavor, Taco seasoning has higher amount of chili powder as well as oregano and pepper flakes which makes Fajita seasoning more subtler.
To cook this easy and versatile chicken fajitas:
- Start off by seasoning both sides of the chicken with the taco seasoning. I prefer to use boneless chicken thighs as they are more juicier, but boneless chicken breast also works great for this recipe. Allow the meat to rest for at least 30 minutes to soak in the flavor.
- Sear it on stovetop for about 8-10 minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Cook the vegetable accompaniment on the same skillet until slightly softened and lightly charred; season with salt and pepper.
- And lastly, slice the chicken into strips and served with the cooked vegetables and avocado slices. Now you can fill your favorite tortillas or any unleavened bread with this simple and delicious Chicken Fajitas.
Can I Bake Chicken Fajitas?
Oh yes, you sure can bake Chicken Fajitas in the oven. Although there’s nothing quite like a perfectly juicy seared chicken thighs on a cast iron, you can simply toss everything in a sheet pan and pop them in the oven. Just make sure to cut the boneless skinless chicken thighs in strips for faster cooking, drizzle them with olive oil and toss everything to evenly coat. Then evenly spread them on a line sheet pan (making sure the larger cuts are in the middle) and bake them in the oven. Roast them in a preheated 400F oven for 30-35 minutes or until chicken are cooked through and veggies are tender while tossing halfway through.
How Do You Serve Chicken Fajitas?
We love to serve our Chicken Fajitas in warm tortillas, topped with sliced avocados, chopped cilantro, cheese and a squeezed of lime. For a healthier choice, you can wrap them in lettuce leaf or simply toss them over on your favorite green leafy salad. This Chicken Fajitas is sooo versatile without sweating much in the kitchen.
You may also top or serve this Chicken Fajitas with:
Other Tex Mex Recipes That You’d Love
This Chicken Fajita here is one of those super quick and easy meals that you can certainly add on your weekly rotation. It comes together so easily.
- 2 pounds (907 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
- 2 teaspoons (6 g) taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons (28 ml) cooking oil
- 1 red onion , thinly sliced
- 3 bell peppers (green, red and orange)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 fresh avocados , peeled, seeded and sliced
- 1 lime , cut in wedges, for garnish
- Place chicken thighs in a large bowl and season with salt and taco seasoning, making sure all sides of the chicken are covered with seasoning. Let rest for about 30 minutes or more , if possible.
- Heat a large 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, when the pan is hot, add in a tablespoon of oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Using a tong, add in the chicken and sear both sides until golden , lightly charred and cooked through - about 8 to 10 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of your fillet. Transfer chicken to a plate and let rest.
- Add the onions and peppers to the skillet, drizzle with the remaining oil, and cook until the onion is soft and the peppers are slightly softened and charred, for about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Slice chicken into strips.
- Serve with sliced avocado, lime, tortillas, chopped cilantro, and any other condiments.
Tips & Notes:
How To Make Chicken Fajitas
Place chicken thighs in a large bowl and season with salt and taco seasoning, making sure all sides of the chicken are covered with seasoning. Let rest for about 30 minutes or more, if possible.
Heat a large 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add in a tablespoon of oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Using a thong, add in the chicken and sear both sides until golden, lightly charred and cooked through – about 8 to 10 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of your fillet. Transfer chicken to a plate and let rest.
Add the onions and peppers to the skillet, drizzle with the remaining oil, and cook until the onion is soft and the peppers are slightly softened and charred, for about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice chicken into strips. Serve with sliced avocado, lime, tortillas, chopped cilantro, and any other condiments.