I think of fajitas as a summer meal. It’s a hot night on the deck. There are margaritas along with chips and guac to start. Icy cold Dos Equis to go with the meal and just made cinnamon ice cream to finish.
Steak and chicken could both make an appearance and I’d probably even twist Dave’s arm to grill all of the vegetables and heat the tortillas. What’s a husband for?
But looking for some lazy, easy and healthy January meals that could be done in one pot/pan made me think of fajitas and off I went despite the season. (Carolyn Morgan hears this calling her; I know she does.)
If you want to try to have steak and chicken with this meal, you might, but I’d probably grill the steak on the stove in a grill pan if the weather wasn’t conducive to lighting an outdoor grill. You also could broil it in the oven after taking the chicken sheet pan out if you have no grill pan, which is a useful investment if you don’t already have one. With trees falling, roofs coming off, windows blowing out, and semis overturned the last two days of our hurricane force winds, I was looking for anything made indoors.
We had no snow, but just crazy, nerve-end pinching, destructive wind. I hope the weather’s cold at your house so you can try this oven meal tonight, for the play-offs, or even for Super Bowl. But I really hope you don’t have wind…
SHEET PAN CHICKEN FAJITAS
makes 12-14 small fajitas or salad for 4-6
There could be an easier way to make fajitas, but I’m not sure how. Do remember to toss in a packet of tortillas into the oven 15 minutes into the chicken and vegetable roasting time; everything will come out together that way. Don’t want tortillas tonight? Make a full-dinner salad instead (instructions below*). Need more for Super Bowl? Double the recipe and roast two sheet pans evenly spaced in the oven; it might take a bit longer to cook.
- 6 -8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 sweet bell peppers, sliced (your choice of colors)
- Marinade (recipe below)
- 12-14 small flour or corn tortillas, if using
Toppings you might use include: Salsa, hot sauce, avocado or lime slices, sliced green olives, shredded cabbage, chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped fresh green onions, fresh cilantro, grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and place oven rack in center of oven.
- In a large, shallow glass dish (such as a Pyrex 9×13), place chicken, onions, and peppers evenly in one layer.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken and vegetables, toss until well-mixed, and let sit at room temperature 15 minutes while oven preheats.
- Line a large, 1-inch rimmed 13″X 18″ sheet pan –this is the typical size sheet pan for home ovens, but is actually a “half” sheet pan in baking terms– with foil or parchment paper and pour the chicken mixture out onto the sheet. Alternatively: use tongs to remove chicken and vegetables to the sheet pan, making sure to pour out excess marinade onto the chicken and vegetables and toss throughly. (Continued below…)
- Roast for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is done through (no pink) and instant-read thermometer measures 165 degrees Fahrenheit. (If using tortillas, wrap the tortillas in heavy foil and place in the oven about 15 minutes into the roasting time.)
- Remove sheet pan and tortillas from oven, place onions and peppers in a bowl; cover to keep warm. Place packet of tortillas in a towel-lined basket and set on table. Remove chicken to cutting board and let cool briefly. Cut chicken into strips.
- Add sliced chicken to the vegetables in the bowl, toss briefly, and let guests help themselves to make fajitas with the hot tortillas or to make a salad (below*). Serve hot and pass chosen toppings at the table.
- You might also serve hot cilantro brown rice and/or pinto beans.
*For a full dinner salad, spread 6-8 cups fresh spinach or other greens (and rice or beans, as desired) on a large platter, drizzle with lime juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer the chicken and vegetables on top and add your favorite toppings.
- Juice of two limes (about 1/4 cup or 2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Pinch of crushed red pepper (1/8 teaspoon) or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon each chili powder and dried oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
Whisk together all ingredients in small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup.
Wine: Syrah. Mexican beer or margaritas are other happy choices.
If you like this, you might like my:
Stay warm and safe wherever you are. You might just try this little bit of summer soon,