Never fear, the fajita chicken isn’t ACTUALLY green. Well, once you’ve cooked it, anyway. The marinade, however, is pretty awesomely-tinged due to the jalapeno and cilantro in it. The great thing about this marinade is that it only needs to sit for about 30 minutes to tenderize and flavor the chicken, so it is feasible to make this on a weeknight – just use that marinating time to either prep up some veggies or go do something else. Like pour yourself a big glass of wine. And drink it. And contemplate a second.
Mr Meatified refused to show any kind of interest in chicken until I started making this. He’d always claimed it was “dry” and “tasteless”. Let’s face it, overcooked chicken is both of those things. But the lime juice in this marinade works well to counteract both of those problems. I never go out of my way to buy boneless chicken breasts, but if they’re on sale, I will scoop them up and make a big batch of this fajita chicken. I tend to make enough for a meal and plenty of leftovers: you can eat these chicken strips as a snack on their own, throw them in a salad or use them as a base for another meal. Yay versatility! However, making a 2lb batch for extra leftovers does mean you have to split the chicken into two cooking batches if you want them to brown nicely, so feel free to halve the recipe if you’re not up for that!
First things first. Take your chicken breasts and slice them thinly. I tend to cut along the whole length of the breast to get the longest strips possible while still keeping them thin, but you can cut them in the other direction if you want them smaller.
Next up, get a blender ready and add all your other ingredients. Deseed /chop the jalapenos into thirds & peel the garlic cloves, but everything else can go in without ceremony.
Now just liquefy! Sometimes this comes out a little thick – depending on the size of your jalapenos – but a splash of water will thin it down to the right consistency if needed.
Put your chicken strips in a baggie and add the marinade. Make sure the chicken is evenly coated, then seal and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once the chicken has marinated, heat up a large skillet to about 4 / 10 on your burner. We don’t want to cook these over a high heat as they’ll smoke like crazy. And I don’t have an exhaust fan. Don’t skimp on the oil if you’re not using a non-stick pan. Feel free to halve the recipe if you’re not up for that! Add your chicken to the pan. Now here’s the secret to non-dry chicken breasts: add them to the pan and then LEAVE THEM ALONE. Don’t move them or shift them in any way for at least 5 minutes. At that point, use some tongs to flip a piece and see if it’s browned yet. If not, keep cooking. When you can see that some of the marinade has caramelized onto the pan (doesn’t apply to non-stick!) then that’s usually a sign that your chicken is ready to flip.
Flip yo’ chicken! All the time spent browning on the other time will mean your chicken is pretty much cooked through already. So just cook for a few more minutes until thoroughly cooked. Once you can’t see any pink, pick out a thicker piece and check for doneness. If it’s done, so’s the rest – time to take it off the heat!
- Slice chicken breasts thinly, lengthwise.
- Deseed the jalapenos and chop into thirds; peel the garlic. Add all ingredients aside from the chicken to a blender & liquefy.
- If the marinade is a little thick, thin it with a splash of water.
- Put the chicken strips into a baggie and add the marinade; make sure the chicken is evenly coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Once the chicken is marinated, heat up a large skillet with some extra coconut oil to about a 4 / 10 burner heat. You will need to split this into two batches to brown the chicken evenly, unless you halve the recipe.
- Add the chicken to the pan, laying the strips out evenly. Do not move for at least 5 minutes. Check for browning - if the strips are not yet a good "grilled" color, let cook for a few more minutes. It should take about 8 - 10 minutes.
- Once the chicken is browned, there should be only a little pink visible on the uncooked side. Flip the chicken.
- Cook for an additional few minutes, until cooked through evenly. Remove from the heat and repeat if making the full 2lb batch.
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