Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Salsa

I was in the mood for Mexican food yesterday, but wasn't in the mood for cooking a meal that involved a lot of time preparing it either.  Ever had days like that?  Yesterday was one of them.  We just completed an adoption of a pet from the local shelter two days ago.  Everything had been going just wonderful - he is such a sweet dog, and our hearts were full of love for him.  However, he seems to be sick.  The last two nights he has had diarrhea, which has created a huge mess that I've had to clean up.  Lots of shampooing, cleaning, mopping, sweeping... ugh...   This would explain why I was not feeling like spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking yesterday!   (I have an appointment today with the vet to see if we can get him better).

Needless to say though... chicken fajitas were on my menu plan, but I no longer felt like grilling them outside (which was my original plan).  So, I found another - and perhaps just as good - way to make chicken fajitas from "scratch" and they tasted just as amazing as any fajitas you've had in a Mexican restaurant - soo.... I want to share this with you.




When I make homemade chicken fajitas, I am kind of a "dump and go with it" kinda gal.  I just guesstimate for the marinade.  However, for the marinade for these chicken fajitas, this is a rough estimate of what I did:

3-4 chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1-2 tbsp Fiesta fajita seasoning (see here to buy on Amazon)
Salt, pepper as desired

Place fresh or thawed chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag, and pour in remainder of ingredients. Marinade in refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours (the longer the better).



Next, I chopped up the veggies I was going to use to cook with the fajitas.  I forgot to take a picture of the onion.

1 each of green pepper, red pepper, and yellow pepper
1 onion, sliced



 Don't these look pretty - I love the colors and flavors of all these peppers!



I usually place tinfoil in the bottom of a 9x13 pan to help with easy clean up.  I have a grill pan that fits perfectly inside the 9 x 13 pan which helps if you want the chicken and veggies a bit more crisp, and not mushy - but this grill pan is not required - just an added benefit if you have one.


 And into the oven they go - the oven was preheated to 400 degrees.


Next, while the fajitas were cooking away, I quickly put together our homemade salsa.  

1 pint can crushed tomatoes (apprx 2 cups)
1 can tomatillos (I prefer to use fresh tomatillos, but can't always find them)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (diced tomatoes and chilies)
1 jalapeno, seeded, and sliced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt



Add it all to the blender...


Then on low speed puree the sauce until it is thick and no large chunks remain.


This stuff is so good - I think I could almost drink it!!


Our favorite chips to dip this sauce with are Tostitos.


Life doesn't get much better than fresh salsa and toasty Tostitos!


This salsa doesn't last long at our house.



Yum!




The chicken was in the oven for about 40 minutes at 400 degrees.  I removed the grill pan after about 20 minutes of cooking after the chicken breasts had a chance to get pretty crisp.  I didn't want them to dry out, so the grill pan was removed for the remainder of the cooking time to allow the juices to mingle.   The chicken breasts I used were quite thick.  You can adjust the cooking time, depending on how thick your chicken breasts are, making sure the chicken is cooked through, without any pink.

Once the chicken was finished, they were then sliced into thin strips, and the call went out  - SUPPER IS READY!   Eager bellies didn't take long to race into the kitchen once the word was out!




We eat our chicken fajitas very simply - a bit of homemade salsa, a dollop of sour cream, topped with a bunch of cheddar jack cheese, rolled up in a soft flour tortilla.  Sometimes, if I have it on hand, I will make guacamole as the perfect topping for a chicken fajita.  But really - these fajitas were so juicy, tender, and full of flavor that they really didn't need anything else.  They were a huge hit with my kids, who said.... they thought they were better than the grilled fajitas I usually make, as they were moist, juicy, and tender, and were not as dry as chicken fajitas can be when done on the grill.  So... this was a win-win for us!  Easy dinner, simple cleanup, and happy bellies!

If you'd like to be able to print the recipe and give these fajitas a whirl in your own kitchen, here is the recipe below:

Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas

3-4 chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1-2 tbsp Fiesta fajita seasoning (see here to buy on Amazon)
Salt, pepper as desired
1 each of green pepper, red pepper, and yellow pepper
1 onion, sliced
1 pkg 8-10 flour fajita tortillas 
Cheese, sour cream, guacamole for toppings, as desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place fresh or thawed chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag, and pour in remainder of ingredients. Marinade in refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours (the longer the better).  Cover 9 x 13 pan with tinfoil, and pour in chicken with marinade.  Top with sliced veggies.  Bake uncovered in oven for at least 30 minutes, or more, depending on the thickness of your chicken. (Note: Chicken could also be sliced before cooking).

Homemade Salsa 


1 pint crushed or diced tomatoes (apprx 2 cups)
1 can tomatillos (I prefer to use fresh 3-4 tomatillos, but can't always find them)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (diced tomatoes and chilies)
1 jalapeno, seeded, and sliced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to the blender, and puree on low speed just until desired consistency reached, thick and smooth.  Serve with tortilla chips - Tostitos work perfectly for this salsa!

Enjoy... and if you should happen to overeat with such a wonderful meal - a cup of hot peppermint tea after dinner helps with digestion really nicely!




This post was shared on Let's Get Real herehttp://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com

6 comments:

  1. This house loves Mexican food as well. There are times I don't mind making a huge dinner and there are times I want something simple. We all have been sick this past week so I have been in one of those "throw it all in one pot" kind of moods. I likes that you baked the fajita's in the oven. Did it turn out juicy? It's looks amazing. I wish these computers had a smell button. I make homemade salsa too, it's so much better than store bought. I'm not a huge fan of cilantro, so I just add in more spice.

    Are you all suppose to get some snow from this big storm coming in? They are calling for a dumping here in Colorado. We've gotten everything ready and fire roaring, now waiting for the snow to fall. Glad I don't have to be anywhere for the next few days.

    Stay warm and cozy my friend,
    Amy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Amy! I hope that the snow hasn't buried you too deep! We just got a slight sprinkling of snow Saturday and then it was gone by noon! Hopefully the snow you receive will not cause too many problems for you.

      To answer your question - the chicken fajitas were so juicy and tender that my kids commented that they liked them better than grilled - because grilled chicken gets so dry. I think this is a win-win situation - much easier to put in the oven instead of running back and forth to the grill, and just as tasty, if not better! I have printed off your recipe for pico de gallo and hope to try it soon, it sounds amazing!

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  2. Hello, Just wanted to pop over and say hello as I have heard Amy talk about you! All good...
    You live in a very lovely state! Your meal looks just delicious!
    Also, hope your pooch is doing better!
    Please come visit soon!
    Blessings, Roxy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Roxy, and I will certainly head over and say hello to you as well! I always love making new friends. Appreciate your comment, and concern about Roger - he is doing better! So thankful for that! Tell Amy thanks for her kind referral - I look forward to getting to know you better!

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  3. Mexican and Italian. . .my two favorite cuisines. Your fajitas look so yummy! Thanks for the very nice comment you left on my home construction post. I'm feeling much better now, and am catching up on visits. Hope you had a good weekend. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. I'm so glad to hear you are feeling better, and so exciting all the things happening with your cottage! Looking forward to following the journey with you! We had a lovely weekend here, amazing weather, and I hope that you were able to relax and get better this weekend. Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by :)

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