Posts Tagged 'grilling'

Tequila Chicken Fajitas

Tequila Chicken Fajitas 0708

Tequila Chicken Fajitas

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo – or any night – with these flavorful chicken fajitas hot off the grill.

Chicken fajitas are always a crowd pleaser, inexpensive, and easy to prepare. In about 30 minutes, you can have a delicious south of the border inspired meal on the table.

The secret trick for flavorful and moist chicken is to marinate it overnight. The lemon juice, tequila, onion, garlic, and spices not only flavor the chicken but also make it more tender. I suggest marinating the chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag so you don’t have a to dirty a dish. And, if feeding your family, don’t be concerned about the tequila in this recipe. When you put it on the grill, all the alcohol burns off.

This whole meal can be prepared on the grill if you like. Instead of sautéing the peppers and onions, grill them instead.  Even the tortillas can be warmed on the grill. Wrap them in aluminum foil and warm on the grill over direct heat for 2 or 3 minutes.

To serve, arrange the chicken and vegetables on a platter. Be sure to set out an assortment of south of the border toppings: guacamole, pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, to name a few. Your guests will enjoy assembling their own fajitas by putting their favorite ingredients in the tortillas.

Tequila Chicken Fajitas

For the chicken:
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons tequila
1 tablespoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Vegetable oil, for the grates
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the fajitas:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (1 small onion)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
8  flour tortillas, warmed
1 cup guacamole (optional garnish)
1 cup pico de gallo (optional garnish)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional garnish)

To make the chicken: In a shallow nonreactive dish just large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer, stir together the lemon juice, tequila, hot sauce, olive oil, onion, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover, place in the refrigerator, and marinate overnight.

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess. Discard the marinade. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the grill. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

To make the fajitas: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

To serve, thinly slice the chicken across the grain. Arrange the chicken and vegetables on a platter. Serve with warmed tortillas and your favorite toppings. Encourage diners to make their own fajitas by putting the ingredients in the tortillas.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tips:

It is best to marinate the chicken over night. If short on time, marinate for at least 2 hours.

This recipe can easily be made indoors on a grill pan.

 

Recipe from Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

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Chicken Yakitori

Earlier this summer I was looking for new chicken dishes to try on the grill and I tried yakitori. These kebabs are a popular item on the menus of Japanese restaurants and are very simple to make at home.

Yakitori is a traditional Japanese cooking method. In fact, it is one of the fastest and easiest grilling preparations there is.  Your favorite chicken part is cut in small pieces (I prefer chicken thighs because the meat stays juicy and flavorful), skewered, and then lacquered with a sweet, syrupy sauce while grilled over direct heat.

The emphasis on this dish is the sauce … which is both sweet and savory at the same time.  It’s made from a combination of Asian ingredients such as soy sauce, mirin, sake, and fresh ginger. No need to worry about serving this to little ones. Most of the alcohol in the sake evaporates when the sauce is brought to a boil. But if you prefer, unseasoned rice wine vinegar can be substituted for the sake.

To complete the meal, serve the skewers with a bowl of hot steamed rice and a crispy Asian slaw.

Chicken Yakitori

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup sake
2 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Skewers (if using bamboo, soak in water for 30 minutes)
Vegetable oil, for the grates

In a medium saucepan combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Put the chicken in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the marinade and toss to coat. Cover, place in the refrigerator, and marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess. Discard the marinade. Thread the chicken onto the skewers.

Place the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook, basting with the remaining marinade and turning frequently to prevent scorching, until no longer pink the middle, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: Mirin is sweetened rice cooking wine. It is found in the international section of most larger supermarkets.

Source: Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler (Thomas Nelson, 2012)

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Grilled Herb Chicken with Greek Tomato-Olive Relish

A good relish can make an everyday chicken breast into a show-stopper. This Greek-inspired tomato relish from my new cookbook Simply Grilling is just such an example.

Enjoy!

Grilled Herb Chicken with Kalamata Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese

For the Greek Tomato-Olive Relish:
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4  cup finely diced red onion (1/2 small onion)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint 

For the Herb Chicken:
Vegetable oil, for the grates
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the Greek Tomato-Olive Relish: Place the tomatoes, olives, red onion, oil, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Add the feta cheese and mint and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the chicken: Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Season both sides of the chicken with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Place the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes per side.

To serve, place the chicken on the plate and top with a generous spoonful of the tomato-olive relish.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tips: To evenly cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I suggest pounding them to a uniform thickness before grilling.

Dried Italian seasoning is a mixture of several dry herbs. To make your own, combine 1 tablespoon each of dried basil, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried marjoram, dried thyme leaves, dried rosemary, and dried sage. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

Do-Ahead: The tomato-olive relish can be made 4 hours ahead. Store covered in your refrigerator until ready to serve.

Variation: Fresh basil would be a delicious substitute for the fresh mint.

Grill Pan Friendly: Don’t have a grill or the weather is not so great, this dish can be made inside in a grill pan.

Photo credit: Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.


Jennifer Chandler

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