Scoring Football Fajitas

A while back I mentioned this delightful dish:  

Also known as: 

Haven't had it in a while and felt the urge earlier in the week to get it made again.  Today was the day.  I have made this several times in the past few months and therefore, kind of just throw stuff together here and there and thusly did not take the time to neatly arrange all the ingredients beforehand.  Sorry! (See also: Hungry, who's got time for presentation?)  

Made some adjustments this time around, to add a little bit less pepper heat and to accommodate for the lack of heavy cream required in the original recipe. Actually, it may have been the best version yet...with comments from the Beloved ranging from "This is really fucking good" to "I could eat eight of these things...".  All in all, this has now moved to the top of his list of all-time favorite dishes, I think. 

Check out the recipe (above) then look back here to see what made this such a "Winning" chicken entree.

The only thing I changed (since the first time) about the marinade was to use this seasoning, instead of the cayenne pepper. Why? Because I have had this jar for years and it has held its flavor and heat and yet I still feel the need to use it up.  Note: It also works well, when you want to add heat to salsa but forgot to get jalapenos or other spicy pepper varietals!! Ooops, I lied, one other thing I added was two tablespoons of that Jalapeno vinegar from the Thai recipe.  I hate to waste things, and I figured, it couldn't HURT since it's going in a marinade that's supposed to have a little kick anyway.  I don't think it ADDED any flavor, but it most certainly didn't hurt the recipe, by any means.  

I wasn't planning on making a whole bunch of these today, so I only got two poblanos, and also two organic green peppers which were on the clearance cart for a whopping $0.25 each....for tiny blemishes, so YAY me.  All in all, I think I spent $1.50 on all four peppers.  I added the green pepper to try to bring the heat ratio down a bit without sacrificing pepper flavor. It worked wonders.  

Nothing new under the sun here...except for my need of another way better skillet. This is my favorite skillet, smaller than the beast I used to make the Thai dish the other night, but it cooks the hell out of pretty much anything I throw in it.  Get some serious "char" on those onions....get that skillet HOT, med-high to high, before you put the onions in. Not only do they brown up quickly, the kitchen will also smell divine at this point. Sadly, I must report that I am almost out of onions and only had 1.5 small-medium onions to add. It's a sad day when you run out of onions.  

When peeling the poblanos, MAKE SURE YOU WEAR GLOVES!!!!!!! I know I have mentioned that before, but it always, ALWAYS bears repeating.  Failing the possession of gloves, stick your hands in some sandwich baggies. Same concept-protection of your delicate, pepper-sensitive, skin cells!  

Since I had very few peppers, I went a step further and chopped them into finer chunks instead of strips.  Thankfully, we had enough of the Rajas con Crema por Me for four fajitas. 

Here's where I had to make substitutions. I didn't have any heavy cream. So, I had some half and half that I got for another recipe....and I had fat free sour cream. Therefore, I had the Crema part. Just poured probably 1/2 cup of each in a bowl and whisked it up....then whisked in the lime juice.  However, you may want to lower the heat just a touch, like down to medium before you add it, unless you intend to stand RIGHT THERE and tend to it...otherwise, it will get away from you and evaporate rather rapidly. OOPS.  So, to fix that....I just poured in a few more splashes of half and half and all was good.  You really don't want a lot of liquid here because instead of getting to eat your creation, you'll be bathing in the sauce. Not fun, even with a bib on!!!

Chicken. I had thin sliced chicken boobs. I am assuming they just cut a normal boob right in half....thusly, they did not need pounding.  If you use regular boobs, however, you MUST pound the thickest part to get an even piece of meat or you will end up with raw chicken when you take it out of the oven. That would be disgusting. Raw chicken is disgusting, especially when it's supposed to be COOKED.  

Get that skillet HOT...again, like HOT for the onions....HIGH temp.  Instead of adding plain oil, I just tossed in a few tablespoons of the marinade oil....and I did not pat the boobs dry before frying...because that just seems like a waste of flavor to me.  It took 3 minutes to sear the first side, using the thin-sliced boobs. Regular boobs, you will need a good 4-5 minutes on that first side. Then I flipped them, let them cook for about 30 minutes and then stuck them in the 200-degree oven. 

Finally, and I think the most important part, browing the tortillas.  We have a glass-top stove...which makes for very easy browning.  Clean the burners off first, because searing that chicken makes one holy hell of a mess...but do NOT use any chemical cleaner..just wipe it down with hot water and dry the entire top thoroughly before you do the tortillas.  Any kind of moisture will make them stick to the burner.  Set the burner on medium, add one tortilla....let it set for 30-45 seconds...if it bubbles up just push on it with tongs and pop the bubbles. Flip it...and continue until....

It looks like this:

It is divine. It's crunchy and yet not hard like a hard taco shell.  

From here on out, we will have no pictorial proof of the wonderfulness of this meal. I was hungry, he was hungry and hovering around the kitchen, making impatient sighing noises, so I had to rush it up... 

Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, around 15 minutes or so, the Test Kitchen says to let it rest, but there was no time for that here today, so I just flopped it on the cutting board and sliced it into chunks..some of which fell apart. Then toss it back in the skillet to absorb the left over stuffs...this helps it to not be dry, I am certain.  Regardless, it's pretty damned tasty!  

Lay your tortilla on the plate, add the Rajas con Crema first or the chicken first...then top with whatever you didn't add first...then sprinkle on a bit of shredded cheese...(we didn't have any Queso Fresco today, so I added a few pinches of mozzarella, mainly because I am a cheese freak and there's very little difference in flavor. Or leave cheese off altogether. You really don't need it. ....then, if you are so inclined, top with a little bit of regular salsa, or you can go out on a limb and make their radish salsa...which did NOT look good to me, so I did NOT make it. 

There it is.....an amazing, AMAZING twist on the standard fajita.  

Suggestions for YOU:  Make TRIPLE or QUADRUPLE the amount of Rajas con Crema.  This stuff keeps well in the fridge and probably would even survive freezing.  Also make triple or quadruple the amount of chicken. You probably only need to double the marinade recipe....I made the full amount required in the Test Kitchen version....added 6 pieces of the thin-cut chicken....and still had enough left over after adding marinade to the skillet, to add in another 4 pieces of chicken.  Now, we will have marinated chicken to use for grilling, or baking....for the rest of the week.  I can live with that.  

This is a definite, definitive, absolute MUST TRY.  If you love fajitas, you will adore this! I promise. Really!!!  


Preheat My Oven....