Fajita Chicken Kebabs
I’m raising a skewer of Fajita Chicken Kebabs high into the air and calling for a change in dialogue. Why must we always “man” the grill? I hereby decree that we “woman” it too!
Although I don’t consider myself a feminist in the bra-burning definition of the term, I am all for equal opportunity behind the coals. Whether by design or default, whenever I attend a backyard barbecue, it always seems to be the men who rush to the grill and the women who handle the accompanying sides/desserts. Even at home, whenever we grill, Ben insists on being the one to “man” the flame. I rarely disagree, since it’s the one occasion he cooks, with the exception of Valentine’s Day.
Still, I was beginning to feel a grill-shaped void in my cooking repertoire. After all, why shouldn’t I be able to hold a spatula and master the flame? Move over boys—I’m armed with Fajita Chicken Kebabs, and I’m ready to take over the tongs.
If you’ve been intimated to try grilling, I’m thrilled to now say from experience: basic grilling is a snap! Though I am going to need more practice before I’m willing to risk the integrity of a full rack of ribs or beef tenderloin, these juicy, fajita-inspired chicken kebabs were my first attempt, and they could not have been any simpler or more delicious. Ben walked me through how to light the gas over the phone, and fewer than 10 minutes later, I was pulling these bright beauties off the grill and onto a plate.
You know that feeling of jealousy you have when you detect the tantalizing smell and unmistakable hiss of fajitas being delivered to the guy two tables down at the Mexican restaurant? The one that makes you smack your forehead and think, “Why didn’t I order fajitas too?” These Fajita Chicken Kebabs put restaurant-guy’s fajitas to shame. They have the same sizzle for a fraction of the price and are brighter, fresher, and healthier too. A quick 30 minutes of marinade time are all you need (spices + lime juice—easy!) though you can certainly prep the chicken up to 24 hours in advance for maximum dinner speed.
For an extra layer of flavor, in lieu of plain chicken, I started with black pepper garlic marinated chicken breasts that I picked up from my local Pick ‘n Save grocery store. The nearest store is only two minutes from my house, so I’m in almost every day, to the extent that I’m getting concerned that the cashiers might have a nickname for me. (“Hey, it’s Child’s Sized Packers Sweatshirt Girl—again.”) The marinated chicken breasts come in a wide range of flavors that taste great on their own (the Greek chicken is a favorite of ours), and they also make an excellent starting point for building other flavors, like in the case of today’s Fajita Chicken Kebabs. If you live in the Milwaukee area and haven’t tried them yet, Pick ‘n Save is running a special from now to June 17th where you can trade in points earned on all grocery purchases for a range of chicken, burgers, and steak. Free meat? Yes please!
We enjoyed these Fajita Chicken Kebabs with a simple side of brown rice and the same easy black bean recipe from my 10 Minute Black Bean Tostadas. Add avocado, salsa, and sour cream (or swap plain Greek yogurt), and you have a chicken fajita feast that sizzles. In authentic fajita style, Ben stuffed his grilled chicken and veggies inside tortillas, but I found the kebabs totally satisfying on their own.
One final, burning question: Is it more appropriate to refer to a woman as “Grill Master” or “Grill Mistress?” Please discuss—I can’t decide which to put on my future apron.
Fajita Chicken Kebabs
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Zest and juice of 1 large lime, — plus additional for serving
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic, — chopped
- 1 jalapeño, — chopped (remove seeds and membrane if sensitive to spice)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 large red onion
- Fresh cilantro — for serving
- Salsa, — sour cream (or plain yogurt), and guacamole, optional for serving
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place in a zip-top bag.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the canola oil, lime juice and zest, chili powder, cumin, garlic, jalapeno, and salt. Pour over the chicken, seal the bag, the gently “squish” the bag so that the chicken is coated with the marinade. Place the bag in a baking dish to catch any accidental drips, then refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. If using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for at least 20 minutes prior to use.
When ready to cook, heat your grill to medium-high. Cut the bell peppers and onion into 3/4-inch chunks, then thread onto skewers with the marinated chicken pieces, alternating the chicken with the vegetables. Lightly oil the grill, then place the kabobs on the grill, cover, and let cook until the chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink, about 6 to 8 minutes, turning the chicken once or twice throughout so that it cooks evenly.
Remove the chicken kebabs to a serving plate and sprinkle with cilantro and a few squeezes of fresh lime juice. Serve warm, garnished with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole as desired.
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