Chicken Fajitas Recipe – The Authentic Mexican Version

In the typical chicken fajitas recipe you find in Mexican restaurants around the world, you’ll find a lot of fatty cheeses and usually quite a bit of sour cream.  Outside Mexico, fajitas are more often prepared in the American “Tex-Mex” cuisine style, but inside the real Mexico, fajitas recipes emphasize fresh ingredients and layers of delicious flavor from salsas.

The following recipe is for authentic Mexican chicken fajitas and just the fajitas, but it should be noted that if you go anywhere in Mexico, you will almost never find fajitas served all by themselves; they’re always served with side dishes like beans and rice or some other popular combination, and so I highly recommend doing the same if you’re planning on serving these fajitas to your picky Mexican guests!

This particular fajitas recipe serves two people, so just multiply the ingredients accordingly if you’ll be feeding more.

The recipe comes in three parts: the fajita garnish, the fresh chicken, and the fajita salsa that tops off the flavor.  Easy instructions on cooking all three is what follows below.  Also, these fajitas can seem “hot” thanks to the chile serrano, but if you’d like it to be less spicy, you can just use half the amount of serrano pepper listed below, or cut it out entirely if you don’t want it to be spicy at all, and it will still taste good. But if you’re going for the authentic Mexican taste, the cuisine is very much defined by its plethora of chiles, so if you haven’t tried a lot of Mexican food before, I highly recommend using chile for the true Mexican flavor!

Equipment for cooking this:

  • 1 sharp knife
  • 1 cutting board
  • 2 medium size pans
  • 1 plate
  • 2 bowls, for preparing the garnish and the salsa
  • 1 spatula or big spoon for mixing

Ingredients (serves two):

  • one fresh, entire chicken breast (finding this will likely be hard if you’re in the States, but your taste buds will thank you later…)
  • tortillas (aka: “soft taco wraps”) – 4 will do
  • bell pepper – 1, any color
  • chile serrano (serrano pepper) – 1 single pepper
  • garlic – 2 small cloves
  • white onion – 1/2 of a small-to-medium size one
  • olive oil
  • worcestershire sauce (we use “Jugo Maggie”, but “Lea & Perrins” is also a very popular brand choice)

(for the salsa)

  • cilantro – 1/4 of a bunch, just the leaves
  • white onion – 1, small
  • lime – 1 medium size one
  • tomato – a medium-size, red, firm, ripe, spherical shaped tomato
  • salt – 1/2 a table spoon

Preparation:

1) Preheat a medium size pan for cooking the garnish. Turn it on low-medium and let it heat up while you do the following:

2) Create the garnish:

Cut the bell pepper into strips and put them in a bowl.

Cut your onion up however you’d like (starting with the 1/2 onion, I cut it into 1/4s, then into 1/8s, and then again into 1/16ths, and then you can easily separate the layers of each of those pieces to give you your final onion pieces to use for this recipe) and then put them in the bowl with the bell peppers.

Dice up the two cloves of garlic into fine bits, then add to the bowl.

Take your serrano pepper and cut five or six long slivers off of it–no more than 1/4 of the entire chili pepper in total–and add them to the bowl.

Add two table spoons of olive oil to the bowl, then mix everything with a big spoon or spatula.

Then take your chicken breast, pull it apart into strips if you can (if it’s fresh enough), otherwise use a knife and cut it into strips.  Put these strips on a separate plate for now.

Add three or four squirts of worcestershire sauce to the bowl, then dump everything in that bowl into the preheated pan and then sauté that mixture on medium heat until the onions are golden brown and it smells really good! This will take about six minutes, and then finally add the strips of chicken to the mix for cooking. The chicken should take about five minutes to cook, in there with the sautéd ingredients.

3) While the garnish is sautéing, make the fajitas recipe salsa:

Chop the small white onion into small pieces and put in a bowl.

Chop the tomato up into small pieces and put into the bowl with the onion.

Take the remaining 3/4 of a chile serrano and dice it into tiny little pieces, and then add to the bowl.

Chop the cilantro up into fine pieces and add to the bowl.

Into the bowl, squeeze all the juice out of your lime.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the bowl, then mix it all with a spoon.

And now your salsa is ready!

4) Finish by heating up the tortillas in a pan on the stove.  Then remove them from the stove and take your garnish/shrimp mix from your first pan and add to each tortilla, then add some of the fajita salsa to each, and enjoy!  Provecho!

Be sure check out the authentic Mexican recipes blog to find another great fajitas recipe like this one!

Fajitas Recipe History

In traditional Mexican cuisine, the fajitas recipe is relatively uncommon when compared to its obvious brother: the taco recipe. Some believe this is so because the fajita was born in Texas, in the US, as part of Tex-Mex cuisine back in the early 1900s. Others argue the Mexican fajita dish made its beginnings inside of Mexico, and worked its way north with the Mexican cowboys who worked across the border sometimes, in Texas. However this delicious dish began, it became very popular in the 1990s and it is here to stay.

An authentic fajitas recipe, by today’s standards, is basically any cut of meat that is grilled and then served on top of tortillas, either flour or corn. In American Tex-Mex cuisine, fajitas recipes are often cooked and served with the tortillas on the side, on a separate plate, as you’ll often see in Tex-Mex restaurants.

Inside real Mexico, today, fajita recipes are usually served with corn tortillas and have their meat cooked with bell peppers and onions, and are usually served with condiments like guacamole, pico de gallo salsa, other Mexican salsa recipes, lettuce sometimes, and sour cream. In the US, you’ll also often see fajitas served with yellow cheeses.

In their beginning, fajitas only ever used a cut of beef from the cow known as “skirt steak”. Today, many different cuts of steak are used to make fajita recipes and you’ll even find many fajita vendors that serve shrimp fajitas and chicken fajitas, fish fajitas and pork fajitas. If you have any kind of meat, you can make a fajita with it today, provided you have some tortillas and a few bell peppers and onions to grill the meat with.

The fajitas recipe has grown in popularity most likely because it is very easy to cook and it tastes delicious. Both fans of authentic Mexican food and people who enjoy Tex-Mex style food tend to enjoy a good fajita recipe, and that’s one of the reasons why if you’re in a Mexican food restaurant abroad, anywhere in the world today, you’re almost certain to find fajitas on the Mexican menu and served in that restaurant.

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