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Monday, April 2, 2012

Ultimate Chicken Fajitas

This recipe was inspired by a Food and Wine recipe for Chicken Alambre, which actually seems to be misnamed.  Since alambre in Spanish means "wire", I'm still not sure where the name came from but we added a few twists to the ingredient proportions and the results were surprisingly good.

This dish reminds me so much of a restaurant in Phoenix that served southern Mexico cuisine, which is actually quite different than the food served in the northern regions of Mexico.  Many of the meals served in northern Mexico use grilled meat, and primarily beef as the main protein, while in the southern regions chicken, seafood and vegetable dishes are more common. The northern dishes also seem to favor heavier sauces, while the southern style concentrates on bold clean flavors from the foods themselves like in this dish.

Many Mexican dishes have also been "Americanized" by adding heavy cheeses to foods such as tacos or tostados, while in most regions of Mexico cheese, especially cheddar, is rarely used.  Adding a light queso fresco to this fajita allowed all of the flavors to pop and a squeeze of lime juice over the top brings all of these flavors together.

This is a delicious twist on the traditional fajita and we will surely make these again soon.  Included in the mix are sauteed red onion and red peppers, a little bacon and chorizo for extra flavor, and a topping of avocado and Mexican queso fresco cheese. 

8 oz  Thick Cut Bacon, diced into small pieces
8 oz  Fresh Chorizo, casings removed and meat crumbled
2 lbs  Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into narrow strips
2 tsp  Salt
1 tsp  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1  Large Red Bell Peppers, cut into strips
1  Large Red Onion, sliced

For Toppings
Queso Fresco or Shredded Mexican Cheese
Avocado, sliced
Fresh Lime Wedges

In a large skillet, fry the bacon until slightly softened, then add the crumbled chorizo.  Continue to cook about 5 minutes until the bacon and chorizo are nearly cooked thru and the bacon is a little browned.  Drain the excess grease.

Add the chicken strips to the pan, stirring to combine and season with salt and pepper.  Cook 5 minutes until the chicken is almost fully cooked.  Add the peppers and onions to the pan, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.

Spoon the mixture into soft flour tortillas, add a few avocado slices, some crumbled queso fresco and a generous squeeze of lime and serve. Enjoy!!

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