4 portions. Maximum cost: £15.93
Skill level: Medium (only because there’s lot of chopping),
Total cooking time: 30 to 45 minutes,
- Prep time: 25 minutes (you can make the salsa and guacamole whilst the veg is cooking)
- Cooking time: 15 to 30 minutes,
Equipment used: 4 serving bowls, 1 frying pan, 1 griddle pan, pestle and mortar
We love fajitas in our house. We love fajitas so much that we’ve invited friends over for fajita nights (no joke sombreros here, just a lot of food and wine). We often debate (we argue) what marinade should be used, what veg should be included and how they should be cooked…. this is a serious matter.
I prefer using a home made mix of spices, marinating only the meat and cooking the veg for a much longer period of time in a separate pan. The other half likes the packet mix (the classic Old El Paso) and smothering this over veg and meat before cooking the lot on a griddle.
We do agree on a few matters; fajitas should be with fresh salsa, guacamole, yoghurt and grated cheese. Oh, and the wraps should be stuffed so full that you can barely roll them.
1: Prepare your fajita spice mix by mixing together the following:
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Sprinkle this over 8 chicken thighs and rub into the meat so that it is evenly coated – ideally do this a few hours before. (For the sake of fairness, my husband would advise to also sprinkle seasoning over the chopped veg)
2: Slice 3 peppers into eighths (removing the seeds and pith as you go). Slice 2 red onions into eighths and separate out some of the petals
3: Make your salsa: Roughly chop 4 tomatoes and add to a small bowl. Sprinkle over a little sea salt as this will encourage the moisture to seep out and create a juicy salsa. Finely chop 1 white onion and add this to the tomatoes along with a splash of red wine vinegar, a dash of olive oil and some freshly chopped coriander
4: Make your guacamole: Cut 2 avocados in half and remove the stone (if the avocado is ripe and you have a heavy enough knife, slam the length of the blade into the stone which should skewer it and allow you to simply lift it out). Squidge out the inside and use a fork to mash the fruit. Add the 1 raw chopped garlic cove and the juice of half a lime. Mix well.
Start with the veg. Put the pan on a low heat, add a dash of sunflower oil, the peppers and onions and cook for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes if you have time (lower the heat if cooking for longer). You want the peppers and onions to maintain a bit of bite but for also to allow the natural sweetness to come out.
Whilst the veg is cooking, heat your griddle pan. Add oil to the chicken (not the pan) and ensure that this is coated as this will prevent the meat from stocking. When the pan is hot enough, add the chicken. Try not to move this for at least 5 minutes to allow the dark, charred lines to appear as this is where the intense, smokey flavour comes from. (Beware, you will need the extractor fan on and / or the windows open)
When the chicken is cooked through, place on a chopping board leave for a couple of minutes, then slice through.
Take chicken, veg, salsa, guac, yoghurt and cheese to the table and dig in.
All prices from Sainsbury’s, Feb 2017, unless otherwise stated
For the fajitas:
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (£8 from my local butchers)
- 3 mixed peppers (£1)
- 2 large red onions (36p)
- 1 pack of tortilla wraps (£1.50)
- 1/2 clove of garlic, finely chopped (50p)
- grated cheddar cheese, to serve
- natural yoghurt / sourced cream, to serve (55p for 200ml)
- chopped coriander leaves, to serve (80p)
- half a lime to serve (35p)
For the salsa:
- 4 tomatoes (80p)
- chopped coriander leaves (as above)
- 1 small white onion (17p)
- a splash of red wine vinegar
For the guacamole:
- 2 ripe avocados (£1.90)
- 1/2 clove of garlic, finely chopped (as above)
- juice of 1/2 lime (as above)
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