This delicious tex-mex dish can me made spicier with the inclusion of the seeds from the chopped jalapeño. To satisfy the beef lovers in your group you can also grill some skirt steak as an alternative filling.
Serves 4 to 6
The chicken and vegetables in these fajitas are only mildly spicy. For more heat, include the jalapeño seeds and ribs when mincing. When you head outside to grill, bring along a clean kitchen towel or a large piece of foil in which to wrap the tortillas and keep them warm as they come off the grill. Although the chicken and vegetables have enough flavor to stand on their own, accompaniments (guacamole, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, and lime wedges) can be offered at the table. The chicken tenderloins can be reserved for another use or marinated and grilled along with the breasts.
1/3 cup juice from 2 to 3 limes
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 jalapeño chile, seeds and ribs removed, chile minced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves Table salt and ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed of fat, tenderloins removed, breasts pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
1 large red onion (about 14 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (do not separate rings)
1 large red bell pepper (about 10 ounces), quartered, stemmed, and seeded
1 large green bell pepper (about 10 ounces), quartered, stemmed, and seeded
8–12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1. In medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, 4 tablespoons oil, garlic, Worcestershire, brown sugar, jalapeño, cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade in small bowl; set aside. Add another teaspoon salt to remaining marinade. Place chicken in marinade; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes. Brush both sides of onion rounds and peppers with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, using large chimney starter, ignite 6 quarts charcoal briquettes and burn until coals are fully ignited, about 20 minutes. Empty coals into grill, spreading them in even single layer; place additional 20 unlit coals over lit coals on one side of grill to create two-level fire. Position grill grate over coals and heat grate 5 minutes; scrape clean with grill brush.
3. Remove chicken from marinade and place chicken smooth side down on hotter side of grill; discard remaining marinade. Place onion rounds and peppers (skin side down) on cooler side of grill. Cook chicken until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes; using tongs, flip chicken and continue grilling until chicken is no longer pink when cut into with paring knife or instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers about 160 degrees, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Meanwhile, cook peppers until spottily charred and crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice as needed; cook onions until tender and charred on both sides, 10 to 12 minutes, turning every 3 to 4 minutes. When chicken and vegetables are done, transfer to large plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
4. Working in 2 or 3 batches, place tortillas in single layer on cooler side of now-empty grill and cook until warm and lightly browned, about 20 seconds per side (do not grill too long or tortillas will become brittle). As tortillas are done, wrap in kitchen towel or large sheet of foil.
5. Separate onions into rings and place in medium bowl; slice bell peppers lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips and place in bowl with onions. Add 2 tablespoons reserved unused marinade to vegetables and toss well to combine. Slice chicken into 1/4-inch strips and toss with remaining 2 tablespoons reserved marinade in another bowl; arrange chicken and vegetables on large platter and serve with warmed tortillas.
Chicken Fajitas for Gas Grill
1. Follow recipe for Chicken Fajitas for Charcoal Grill through step 1.
2. Light all burners on gas grill and turn to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes; scrape grill grate clean with grill brush. Leave one burner on high heat while turning remaining burner(s) down to medium. Continue with recipe from step 3, cooking chicken and vegetables covered.
3. When grill is empty, set all burners to medium. Working in batches, if necessary, place tortillas in single layer on grate and grill until warm and lightly browned, about 20 seconds per side. As they are done, wrap tortillas in kitchen towel or large sheet of foil. Proceed as directed in step 5 of Chicken Fajitas for Charcoal Grill.