June 19, 2013

Chicken Fajitas and Cilantro Lime Rice

They're not pretty or fancy, but this is one of my favorite meals! The Geologist of course infinitely prefers the beef version, and I meant to make him some beef ones this time, but I forgot. So you get pictures of the chicken ones. :) Not much to write today, busy busy! Gotta get my house mostly tidied and baby- AND puppy-proofed, half an hour before I watch my friend's two little girls and their brand new puppy! We're going to have a blast, hope my carpet survives!

Chicken Fajitas (adapted from How To Grill by Steven Raichlen)
Printable Recipe

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or about 1 1/2 lbs skirt steak)
2 limes
1 Tb chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp kosher (coarse) salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

1-2 large onions, sliced (we like sweet onions)
1-2 bell peppers, sliced (optional)

sour cream
cheese... etc

Pat chicken (or beef) dry. Stir the spices together and rub the spices into top and bottom of each breast (or steak). Lay meat in a large glass baking dish, let sit 15 minutes. Squeeze the juice of both limes over the meat and let sit 30 minutes to 2 hours, flipping the meat every 30 minutes or so.

When ready to cook, you can grill your meat, or cook indoors. For chicken: drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil into a large heavy bottomed skillet (cast iron is awesome). Heat skillet on medium heat. Add chicken to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, till each side is nicely browned. Cover with a large pot lid for about 10 more minutes, till chicken is nearly cooked through. Remove chicken to a cutting board. Let sit 5 minutes.

With chicken out of the pan, add another Tb of oil and add peppers and onions, if using. Saute till softened. After the chicken has rested 5 minutes, cut into about 1/2-3/4 inch slices. Don't worry if they aren't quite cooked through. Add them back to the pan with the sauteed onions and/or peppers, and pour in any juices and spices left over from marinating. Toss chicken and veggies together while they cook through for a few more minutes, and serve!

Cilantro Lime Rice (adapted from Cheerios and Lattes)
Printable Recipe

1 Tb olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup white rice (we like basmati best)
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 limes

In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 Tb oil medium-low heat. Add rice and juice from 1 lime, stir for 1 minute. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn down to simmer over low heat until rice is tender and the water is absorbed; about 20-25 minutes.  (You can also just add the lime juice to the water if cooking in a rice cooker)

In a small dish combine the juice from the other lime, salt, 1 Tb olive oil, and the chopped cilantro. Stir together and let sit while the rice cooks.

When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork, drizzle with cilantro mixture, and toss to combine well. Serve warm!
No peppers for me! Though I do like the onions. We never have tons because we have a hard time getting them past the boys, but I love some soft, sauteed sweet onions in these fajitas! I've never had better, honestly.  No restaurant or home cook has ever made fajitas I like more than these! I'm a purist, I just add sour cream, but of course you can top them with just about anything!
The slightly labor-intensive cooking method we came up with assures that not only do all those wonderful flavors and spices get soaked into every inch of your meat, but also that the chicken stays extra juicy! Dried out chicken fajitas are just disappointing.
And we all know I can't STAND cilantro, but apparently this rice was awesome! The Geologist is a huge Chipotle fan, so if it passes his test, well, what more can you say! Even the boys loved it! I like the "marinade" idea, because the flavors would meld so much better than just drizzling rice with lime juice and sprinkling cilantro on top. 


  1. They look quite scrummy April! I love Tex Mex anything. We can't always get the chipotle stuff here in the UK, but I make do with what I can get! Tex Mex is catching on though so who knows, someday we may be able to get all those things. I miss the canned green chilies. We get fresh ones, but not sure if they are the same. I roast em anyways and use those instead. Hope your carpet survived! xxoo

  2. Being a Texas gal, this post really caught my eye, April! Your fajitas and cilantro rice look and sound fantastic!

    Love, Joy


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