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Fajitas help!

abfillingameabfillingame Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
in Recipes
I am a super picky, super awful home cook.

I am looking for ideas on the best way to cook fajitas. I have seen lots of one pan ideas, etc., but am still not clear on cooking times, is it okay to put raw chicken on the pan with half cooked peppers/onions, etc.

I know this seems silly, but I wanted to reach out and get a) help, and b) see if anyone is willing to help a 36 year old who should know how to cook, start cooking more!

So, if anyone is interested in adding me to share recipes (that are easy/for beginners) that would be awesome, too!

Replies

  • emmamill12emmamill12 Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    Hi abfillingame
    I usually fry the chicken for a couple of minutes first, then add peppers and onions. You don't have to do this though. I usually add in seasoning once cooked through. Timings will vary I usually cut through a piece of chicken to check it's cooked through and when the peppers are softened to my liking. I'm sure it will be great!
  • TaurOxenTaurOxen Member Posts: 4 Member Member Posts: 4 Member
    Hello. I usually start with the chicken to get some browning going. If you start with the onions and peppers cooked halfway, you will probably steam the chicken, as there will be liquid coming out of the onions and peppers. It will still taste ok, but the browning is where you get some flavour!

    You can cook the chicken separately from the veggies or cook chicken first, brown it, remove to a plate and then cook the veggies in the chicken browning left on the pan (the veggies will scrape up the chicken brown bits - flavour!).


  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 816 Member Member Posts: 816 Member
    It is fine to put raw meat in the pan with half-cooked vegetables. You're going to keep cooking them, after all - anything you're worried about on the chicken isn't going to survive on the veggies, either. Also, waiting until the end to season means all of that flavor is just on the outside of the food. Season before and during, adjust at the end if needed.

    If you're worried about meat doneness, invest in an instant-read meat thermometer. Thermapen is the gold standard but there are many of them on the market today. Cutting into the meat lets all the juice run out, and if you're a nervous cook checking doneness every 30 seconds, you'll end up with dry, mangled meat. The thermometer just leaves a tiny hole.

    I prefer to use chicken thighs if I'm cooking chicken, as the thigh meat is more flavorful and doesn't dry out as quickly as breast meat, but the reason for that is because it's higher in fat. If that's something that matters to you, by all means, use breasts. But unless a doctor has advised you to avoid fat, you don't have to. Marinate your chicken cuts whole in a little bit of oil, salt and pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, lime juice, and cayenne/chipotle/chili powder to taste if you want it spicy. I'd use about half a teaspoon of seasoning per chicken cut, maybe a half a tablespoon of oil. I like to use big ziploc bags for marinating, makes it really easy to smoosh it all around and make sure all the meat cuts are evenly coated with the mixture.

    If you don't have a grill, a sheet pan in the oven is a fine way to prepare fajitas. Spread your peppers and onions in a single layer on a sheet pan, put your marinated whole chicken thighs/breasts on top of them, bake at 375-400F for, oh, 15-20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 165F. At about the 10-to-12-minute mark, take it out of the oven. Move the chicken to a plate, stir the veggies around a little bit, then put the chicken back but flipped upside down from how it was. When the chicken reads 165F, take the pan out of the oven and set the chicken on a (clean) cutting board to rest for like two minutes before cutting it. Test the veg, see if they need another couple of minutes in the oven. Squeeze a little more lime juice over the veg and chicken to brighten it up. Then, prep your cold toppings (shredded cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream), warm up your tortillas (30 seconds in the microwave wrapped in a damp paper towel will do), and then slice your chicken thinly and against the grain. Plate up and bang, you just did a fajitas!
  • kenyonhaffkenyonhaff Member Posts: 1,340 Member Member Posts: 1,340 Member
    You can always get pre-cooked fajita meat from Wal*Mart if you have one if you're nervous on your first go. That way you can focus on the cooking the veggies first, then next time add in the element of the meat.

    Cooking tip: usually in "one pan" recipes the veggies are put in after the meat. This is because 1) meat generally cooks slower than vegetables and 2) Vegetables cooked with meat take on the additional flavor of the meat, enhancing flavor.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 275 Member Member, Premium Posts: 275 Member
    I'm a really big fan of these oven fajitas (it is a one-pan, you slice the chicken up so it will be done at the same time as the veggies), but I'm going to have to try them the @goal06082021 way because that sounds amazing!

    I really dislike handling raw chicken, so my preferred way to trim and cut it up is to use kitchen scissors instead of a knife - it makes the work go a little bit faster in my experience.
    edited March 15
  • queanmumqueanmum Member Posts: 24 Member Member Posts: 24 Member
    I make Shrimp Fajitas on the stove. First cut off both ends of the onions. Then cut 2 sweet onions in half around the middle, peel, and slice each in half. Peel and slice into half rounds, then separate the half rings. Melt 1/2 to 2 TBSP unsalted butter in a nonstick skillet. I set the electric stove on 4 out of 10. Put the onions in and turn to coat with the butter. Cover and set timer for 15 min. Cut 1 tall green pepper into strips and set aside. Stir the onions when the timer rings, cover and cook another 15 min. We buy 12 oz packages of frozen extra large raw shrimp. Run 12 of them under cold water in a collander until you're able to peel them. When the timer rings again, stir the onions, add shrimp and bell pepper, cover and turn the heat down to "3" for 10 min. Done. We like the flavor that the carmelized onions gives the shrimp and don't use any salt/seasoning/or marinade. We serve with flour tortillas with a little sour cream inside. Makes 4 fajitas. We found that store bought tortillas weren't very tender. Now we buy Tortilla Land uncooked flour tortillas. I cook them in a dry cast iron skillet heated to "7" while the onons are cooking. I watched youtube videos to see how to cook/turn them. 1 fajita is 338 cal if you only use 1/2 TBSP butter in the onions. (I can only have one) Fat 8gm, Sodium 698 (with no added salt!), Carbs 46gm This is a "treat" I have to save up carbs for. Count toppings like sour cream separately.
    edited March 15
  • literatilanaliteratilana Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
  • HarleyBeau09HarleyBeau09 Member Posts: 4 Member Member Posts: 4 Member
    Here is one where you just throw it all in a pan and bake it! I like this idea if I don't have time to watch the pans.
    https://www.budgetbytes.com/oven-fajitas/ you can also get a fajitas spice mix packet at the store in the Mexican aisle :) Hope that helps! Instead of flour tortillas, I recommend Tumaros wraps they are 80 calories a wrap and you can get about two fajitas out of one :)
  • corinasue1143corinasue1143 Member Posts: 5,064 Member Member Posts: 5,064 Member
    I’m not a very good cook either. I cook the vegetables in one pan and the meat in another, just because I’m not a good enough cook to get everything all done at once in one pan. In 2 pans, you can take the meat off when it’s done, Take the veggies off when they’re done.
    I’m glad for all these tips, and definitely gonna try a sheet pan style. Thanks, everyone, for the hints.
  • TuesdaicooperTuesdaicooper Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    Not the best to ask for this but I'm hoping that someone answers and I can see it lol
  • bold_rabbitbold_rabbit Member Posts: 1,101 Member Member Posts: 1,101 Member
    For a change of pace, I really enjoyed this easy sheet pan fajita recipe:

    https://karalydon.com/recipes/sheet-pan-salmon-fajitas/
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