Skillet Chicken Fajitas

I love fajitas.   They are up there on my list of favorite foods.  And this is by far my favorite chicken marinade.  I remember the first time I made the chicken this way.  Derek kept sticking his fingers into the skillet to grab just one more slice of chicken long after dinner was done.  He said it was the best fajita chicken he’d ever tasted, and of course I discovered the recipe in one of my Cooks Illustrated magazines.  They had a slightly different twist on fajitas and served this chicken with roasted poblano or pasilla peppers (which are a spicier version of green peppers), a cream sauce, and garnish of cilantro and either crumbled feta or queso fresco.  It’s really good and different, but I’ll save that recipe for another night.  Tonight I just used the chicken marinade and went with the more traditional fajitas and tossed in some veggies.



  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken brasts, trimmed and pounded to 1/2 in thickness


  1.   Whisk 3 Tbsp oil, lime juice, garlic, paprika, sugar, salt, cumin, pepper, and cayenne together in a bowl.  Add chicken and toss to coat.  Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 200 degrees.  Remove chicken from marinade and wipe off excess.  Heating remaining 1 Tbsp oil in skillet over high heat until just smoking.  Add chicken and cook without moving it until bottom side is well charred, about 4 minutes.  Flip chicken; transfer skillet to lower oven rack.  Bake until chicken is cooked through, 7-10 minutes.  Transfer to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes; do not wash out skillet.
  3. (Add this point I fried up some peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini in the pan juices while the chicken was resting).
  4. Slice chicken crosswise into 1/4 inch thick strips.  Return chicken strips to skillet and toss to coat with pan juices.

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