When cruising in the US and Caribbean, we can usually find fajita seasoning packets, quick-cooking Spanish rice mix, canned products such as salsa and refried beans, and even grated cheese to make this meal much easier — just following the package instructions. However, if we can’t find these convenient mixes or have a little extra time to prepare a meal, we prefer to make this meal according to the following recipe.
On our previous boat, About Time, a 32-foot shoal-draft sloop, we had a
small, rail-mounted gas grill and a two burner stove which was all we needed to produce this meal. Onboard Gyatso we have a three-burner gas stove with an oven which has a broiler.
This recipe was first developed when we had the grilling option, but it works just as well on the stove top. Instructions are given for cooking on the grill or stovetop, but you can also cook either the chicken or the pepper and onion under the broiler or in the oven if you have that option. For a full meal, serve with Spanish rice and refried beans.
2 whole boneless, chicken breasts, split (for grilling) or
cut into 1-inch strips (for the stovetop)*
1 medium onion, cut into wedges (to grill) or thin strips (to sauté)
1 fresh green bell pepper, cut into wedges (to grill) or thin strips (to sauté)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
8 medium-sized flour tortillas
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tequila (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, whole or ground
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk together ingredients for marinade, pour over chicken,cover, and refrigerate for one or two hours. In the meantime, prepare the onions and peppers for cooking. If you have a grill available onboard, put the onion and pepper wedges on wooden skewers, brush with oil, and set aside until you are ready to cook the chicken. If using the stovetop, sauté onion and pepper in oil over medium-high heat until softened. Remove from heat and set aside. They can be served warm or at room temperature. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a medium-hot grill until it is cooked to your liking along with the onion and peppers. After grilling, cut chicken into 1-inch strips with a sharp knife before serving. If cooking on the stovetop, remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the liquid, and sautÈ over medium heat in a large fry pan until firm and cooked through (about 5 minutes). Add reserved marinade to the pan and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
Wrap tortillas in foil and heat on the grill (off to the side) or in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the grill or oven. We let each person ìbuild their ownî according to their preferences by wrapping onions, peppers and condiments (see below) inside the tortilla with the chicken (like a soft taco) or by placing them on top or to the side.
We like to serve fajitas with any or all of the following condiments:
- Fresh or canned tomato salsa or fresh tomatoes, chopped
- Grated Monterey jack or cheddar cheese
- Dollop of sour cream
- Finely chopped or shredded lettuce
- Fresh or canned jalapenos, sliced or chopped and seeds removed
* You can also use 1.5 pounds of steak — skirt steak is the traditional cut used for fajitas.