Grilled Chicken Fajita Skewers
June 24, 2019 by Nicole Collins
Thank goodness for grilling season!
I have certainly been enjoying grilling season to the max already this year. But, ironically enough…it’s not me that’s been doing the grilling!
You see, last summer in Baltimore was absolutely disgusting. It rained pretty much the whole summer. And, we had maybe .2 days of actual sunshine.
It was MISERABLE!
So this year, I feel like the bestie and I have been taking full advantage of every drop of sunshine we’ve seen so far this year. We’ve already spent basically every weekend at her pool eating, drinking, and tanning allllllllllll day. Then when her hubs gets home from work, he usually breaks out the grill and makes us more food!
Thank goodness her husband enjoys grilling! I certainly benefit from that. He makes us burgers and corn and steak and chicken. His grilling skills even got me to eat hot dogs again for the first time in a good 15 years.
I was just telling her the other day, actually, that I will never turn down a dinner invitation at their house. Between her hubby, her mom-in-law (when she’s in town visiting), and my bestie; those people put out some pretty delicious tasting food for every single meal. I’m so lucky that I just so happen to be in the right place at the right time often enough to get to participate in meal time too.
It also helps that the bestie lives a whole 3 turns away from me!
I decided to do a little grilling myself this past weekend, and boy were the results delicious! Sometimes, I worry that I’m a little too impatient to grill. But honestly, I don’t think anything could be more worth it.
So, both recipes that we’re having this week are a result of my grilling extravaganza this past weekend. And first up…we’re making Grilled Chicken Fajita Skewers!
I’d been craving chicken fajitas big time, and I had originally planned to just roast the chicken in the oven. But, the more and more I looked at my grill, the more and more I thought I’d try something a little different with my fajitas this time. And, boy am I glad I did!
We start by making a quick 5 minute marinade for our chicken. The 5 minute marinade is actually a technique that I learned while taking a grilling class at work. To the marinade, we add some grapeseed oil, lime juice, and all of the classic fajita spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder. I also learned in that grilling class that grapeseed oil is a great grilling oil, because it has a higher smoke point like a vegetable or canola oil; but it’s got some of the same fruity flavors like an olive oil. If you can’t find or don’t want to invest in grapeseed oil (though you TOTALLY should), you could swap out canola oil in the marinade.
The 5 minute marinade works like this: place your protein in a gallon sized plastic bag (like a freezer bag), pour your marinade over your protein, seal the bag, and gently massage the meat for 5 minutes straight. This method helps to tenderize the chicken while soaking the flavorful marinade into the meat without having to wait hours and hours for that to happen. It really is a brilliant trick! After our chicken has absorbed all of those beautiful flavors, we thread them on some skewers with some red onion and bell pepper pieces. Then, they’re ready for the grill!
The chicken skewers take less than 15 minutes on the grill before they’re ready to devour. But, you can also throw your flour tortillas right on the grill too to help them crisp a little and get a slight char on the outside. Color equals flavor, after all! And, when everything is finished grilling, you can use these skewers to make your perfect chicken fajita: with cheese, sour cream, and an extra squeeze of lime.
Chicken fajitas are amazing all on their own with that perfect balance of slightly spicy heat and sweet roasted veggies. But, add the extra element of a firey char from the grill, and that extra smokiness catapults these to some next level stuff!
Double bonus…since I already had the grill fired up, I kept on going and made a super delicious, Maryland style side dish that actually tastes amazing with these fajitas (or with basically anything you’d want to eat these with)! So, stay tuned for grilling part two on Friday!
‘Til then…enjoy! And, let’s eat!
Grilled Chicken Fajita Skewers
Serves: 4 Print
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp pepper
3 tbsp grapeseed oil, plus more for brushing
juice of half a lime
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut in to 1 inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut in to 1 inch pieces
½ red onion, cut in to 1 inch pieces
flour tortillas, shredded cheddar, and sour cream, for serving
Soak bamboo skewers in a large bowl or plastic freezer bag full of water, making sure they're fully submerged, for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium high heat.
In a small bowl, whisk all spices, oil, and lime juice until well combined. Place chicken pieces in a freezer safe plastic bag. Pour marinade over chicken, let the excess air out of the bag, and seal the bag to close. Gently massage the bag, making sure to evenly distribute the chicken in the marinade, for 5 consecutive minutes. Remove chicken from marinade, and thread chicken, red pepper, yellow pepper, and red onion on to soaked skewers, alternating chicken and vegetables.
Brush the grill grates lightly with grapeseed oil. Place skewers over direct heat on the grill, and close the lid. After 5-7 mins, flip the skewers, close the lid again, and cook an additional 5-7 mins until the internal temp of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Set aside.
To assemble fajitas, remove chicken and veggies from skewers, and place in the center of a flour tortilla. Top with cheese and sour cream, if desired. Serve!
*The 5 minute marinade is a great trick to infusing flavor and tenderizing meat in no time it all. Gently massaging the meat in the marinade provides the same benefit as a protein that's been marinating all day. But, be gentle. We don't want to shred our meat in the marinade. We just want to speed up the flavor process!
*Grapeseed oil is one of my favorite grilling oils, because you get some nutty, earthy flavor like you would from an olive oil with a higher smoke point like you'd get from a vegetable or canola oil. You could certainly use canola oil as a substitute.
*We need to soak the skewers before we thread our kabobs so the wood doesn't catch fire on the grill.
*You can also grill the flour tortillas to give them a little extra pizazz! Place them directly on the grill grates for about 1 min per side until they start to char. Then, get ready to load them up with fajita goodness!
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