Hot and spicy fajitas are a classic Tex-Mex dish, inspired by the cuisine of the Tejanos residents in the Southwest. From its humble beginnings as a grilled strip of skirt steak, fajitas now refer to the delicious combination of grilled strips of any meat, a variety of garnishes or sauces, and a soft tortilla for its casing.
Fajitas began as strip steak given to ranch hands as part of their pay, though now fajitas are a go-to pop of flavor reminiscent of the Southwest. But enough of the history, let's get to the juicy stuff: it's National Fajita Day!
Here's the skinny on making our spicy Chicken Fajitas with Chipotle Lime Crema. Steak might be the classic but this chicken fajita recipe has bonafide fiesta flavor!
Always start with a good marinade. The variety of spices create a complex flavor that gives generic seasoning a run for the money. While you can buy fajita seasoning, you can make it yourself with ingredients from your pantry.
Our recipe calls for olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce, and dijon mustard as the liquid base for the marinade. Some brown sugar gives it a richness. The rest of the flavor? Directly from the spice rack. Chili powder, cumin, garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic!), onion powder, smoked paprika, oregano (fresh if you've got it, dried if you don't), salt, pepper, chipotle powder, and a dash of liquid smoke. The liquid smoke is optional but wow it adds a punch of deliciousness.
Fajitas for days
Don't let the fajita fiesta end! Use the rest of your fajita seasoning on different meats and veggies. Sub the tortilla casing for a stuffed bell pepper bowl or tossed as a fajita salad. The possibilities are endless!
Versatile and customizable, fajitas are a fantastic buffet-style dish. Eat 'em with your hands for less mess. Don't like a topping? No need to add it when served in a build-it-yourself fashion. Show us your fajitas using #crowdcow #nationalfajitaday on Instagram and Twitter!
Toppings & Sides
If you put it in, on, or near a taco, try doing the same with your fajitas! I love a good mix-and-match toppings bar, complete with freshly diced veggies, a variety of salsas, and something neutral to balance the spicy, complex flavors.
Here are some of my recommended toppings to your fajitas night:
- Shredded cheese
- Homemade guacamole
- Sliced avocado
- Salsa roja
- Salsa verde
- Pico de gallo
- Chopped tomatoes
- Diced onions
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges (for freshly squeezed lime juice!)
- Sauteed peppers
- Sour cream
Though, don't forget a few nice sides to balance the bites:
- Warm tortillas
- Black beans
- Mexican rice
- Light salad
- Grilled corn