Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Tortillas + Salsa.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys.

I'm sure you have all eaten chicken fajitas at some point or other. And like me, they probably came from a box.


I remember when I was younger and we first started buying those fajita kits, the actual end product was always a little underwhelming. The spice mix provided for the chicken was too strong, the salsa was too sweet and sticky and the tortillas? I don't know about you guys but I always found them to be on the chewy side.

But regardless of the above, we would still buy them. Until that is one day, when I decided to make them at home. And, when I say make them at home, I mean it. Everything from scratch - the spice mix, tortillas and salsa. I marinaded the chicken in my own blend of spices, seared off plenty of peppers and onions, then did the same to the chicken before tossing the two together.

Next, tortillas! You guys, I am promising right here never to buy them again for two reasons. First, they are ridiculously easy to make. And secondly, their ingredient list is way simpler than any bought in a packet. I have lost count as to how many times we have enjoyed these tortillas - they are that good! Last but not least, the salsa. Taking inspiration from the original, I've made it using tinned tomatoes which means it is the easiest thing ever. Make a big batch and put it on everything! Guys, you must give these homemade chicken fajitas a try. I can guarantee that you'll never go back to the box ones!

Chicken Wraps, previously: Chicken Twister Wraps // Peri Peri Chicken Wraps // Cheesy Chicken Tandoori Wraps // Chicken Tacos

A Simple List of Ingredients: 

For the Chicken, Peppers and Onions:

1. Chicken Breast
2. Salt and Pepper
3. Dried Oregano
4. Ground Cumin
5. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
6. Smoked Paprika
7. Garlic
8. Chilli Sauce
9. Lime Juice
10. Bell Peppers
11. Onion
12. Vegetable Oil

For the Homemade Tortillas: 

1. Plain Flour
2. Salt
3. Baking Powder
4. Vegetable Oil
5. Warm Water

For the Tomato Salsa:
1. Olive Oil
2. Red Onion
3. Garlic
4. Jalapeno Pepper
5. Cumin Seeds
6. Salt
7. Tinned Chopped Tomatoes

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, we will tackle the chicken. It's so simple - all we do is take 2 medium Chicken Breasts, cut into strips. You could also get away with using beef strips here too!


And, marinade it in plenty of dry spices and lime juice. I bet you have all these spices in your cupboard right now, and remember, everything is according to your taste.


We begin with salt, dried oregano and smoked paprika.


Into our chicken, goes 1 teaspoon Salt.


Followed by 2 teaspoons Dried Oregano.


And, 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika.


Next up, cumin and red chilli.


I threw in 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin. We want our chicken to be really smoky and cumin will do just that.


Followed by 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes.


Now that our dried spices are in, it's time for the final ingredients - garlic, chilli sauce and lime juice.


Put in 1 Garlic Clove, peeled and finely chopped.


Then, as much Chilli Sauce as you can handle.


I used a chilli garlic sauce and added in a few squirts.


Finally, lime juice!


Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 Lime.


And, the marinade is done! I threw in the squeezed lime for extra flavour.


Now all that's left to do, is give everything a good stir. We want the chicken to be evenly coated in the spices.


Cover the bowl and leave to marinade. I left mine for 30 minutes but a few hours or overnight is fine too.


Before we cook our chicken, we will cook our peppers and onion.


I used 2 Bell Peppers, cut into strips. You can use any colour you like.


Next, 1 Onion, peeled and cut into half-moons. You can use a white onion but I love the purple colour.


Once the peppers and onions have been sliced, it's time to cook.


Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over a high flame. Add a little Vegetable Oil and let it come to temperature.


When it's hot, add in the bell peppers.


Get them into a single layer as best you can and do not touch them.


Let them char and brown on the edges.


Give them one toss and continue to cook over a high flame until the edges begin to char.


Then, throw in the onion slices.


Along with a little Salt and Pepper, to taste.


Leave them to brown also, tossing a few times now and then over the high flame.


All this should be done with you close by at all times.


Once the peppers and onion are sizzling and ready, remove them onto a plate.


Drizzle in a little more Vegetable Oil into the hot pan.


Over a high heat, add in the marinaded chicken strips.


Let them brown in a single layer. 


Turn them over and let them cook further.


Once they're browned all over, I like to cover them with a lid and cook on low for 10 minutes or until fully cooked.


Once the chicken is cooked, add the peppers and onion back.


Stir them through to heat up and the chicken is done!


Next, to make the homemade tortillas, we begin with the dry ingredients - plain flour, salt and baking powder.


Into a bowl, place 225 grams (1 and 1/2 cups) Plain Flour
I have tried this same recipe with all wholemeal flour and a mix of plain and wholemeal - both work wonderfully well.


To the flour, add:
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
Give everything a quick mix.


For the wet ingredients, we'll be using vegetable oil and warm water.


Pour in 55 ml (1/4 cup) Vegetable Oil.


Followed by 100 ml (1/2 cup) Warm Water.


Begin to mix, with a machine or by hand, until a smooth ball of dough is formed.


This should take 2 minutes with a machine and 5 minutes by hand. Don't knead too much once a smooth ball of dough has been made.


Once you have a dough ball ...



... cover and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.


When it's time to cook, divide the ball into 8 equal pieces.


Roll each piece out on a floured surface to a rough round thin circle.


Heat a dry frying pan or tawa over a medium heat. Once it's hot, put on one tortilla.


Let bubbles form before flipping.


Cook for a few minutes until both sides have golden brown spots.


And, they begin to puff up.


Keep the tortillas warm under a tea towel while you make the rest.


To make the tomato salsa, we will begin with 1 small Red Onion.


Peel it.


And, finely chop it.


Take a pan and heat over a medium flame. Add 1 tablespoon Olive Oil.


Once the oil is hot, add in the chopped onion.


Cook until soft - about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down if the onion is browning too much.


Next, we're going to add in garlic, jalapeno, cumin seeds and salt.


Throw in 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped. Cook for a minute until fragrant.


Next, add in 3 Jalapeno Chillies, finely chopped. I used a big one but you can add in as many or as little as you like.


Next in, 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds.


And, 1/2 teaspoon Salt. You can add more later, if you need to.


Stir everything together for a few minutes until fragrant.


Finally, take 2 tins Chopped Tomatoes. Altogether, this would be about 800 grams.


Add them in to the pan.


Stir well and bring to the boil.


Then, cover and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.


If the salsa sputters, take the lid off slightly to let the steam escape.


After it has simmered, taste for seasoning. I ended up adding another teaspoon of salt along with 1/2 of black pepper.


I like my salsa to be cold for fajitas so I let it cool completely.


Before serving, I stirred in a few pickled jalapenos, chopped. This is completely optional. The salsa keeps really well in the fridge and is great with fajitas and as a dip for tortilla chips.


Let's discuss everything! The chicken can be marinaded and kept in the fridge until needed. Once cooked, it keeps well in the fridge for a few days - perfect for busy weeknights.



You can make the tortillas all at once and store them wrapped in a tea towel - heat in the microwave when needed. You can also keep the dough in the fridge for a few days and cook as you need. 



The tomato salsa is the ultimate make-ahead item. It keeps in the fridge for a few days and gets better in flavour. This recipe makes quite a bit but I will be showing you what I did with the leftovers next week, insha Allah.



When you assemble your fajitas, you can add any extra toppings you like. I kept it simple and made this fresh tomato salsa but you can use grated cheese, sour cream, chopped salad, fresh coriander and lime wedges.


To assemble my fajita, I spread my warm tortilla with tomato salsa, piled on the chicken, peppers and onions, before finishing with my fresh tomato salsa and a squeeze of lime. I then wrapped it up and enjoyed.

I hope this post will inspire you to have your own homemade fajita night soon. Don't forget to share your photos with me - I love seeing them!

Full Written Recipe:


Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Tortillas + Salsa.

Prep Time: About 45 minutes.
Cook Time: About 20 minutes.
Serves: Makes 8 fajitas depending on how much you fill them.

Ingredients

For the Chicken, Peppers and Onions
2 medium Chicken Breasts, cut into strips
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
½ teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and finely chopped
Chilli Sauce, to taste
Juice of ½ Lime
2 Bell Peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
1 Red Onion, peeled and sliced into half-moons
Salt and Pepper, for the peppers and onions
Vegetable Oil, to cook

For the Homemade Tortillas
225 grams (1 and ½ cup) Plain Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
55 ml (1/4 cup) Vegetable Oil
100 ml (1/2 cup) Warm Water

For the Tomato Salsa
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 small Red Onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3 Jalapeno Chillies, finely chopped (to taste)
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
½ teaspoon Salt – you can add more, if needed
2 tins (800 grams) Chopped Tomatoes
Pickled Jalapenos, to taste (optional)

Method

To marinade the chicken, place the chicken strips, salt, ground cumin, oregano, red chilli, smoked paprika, garlic, chilli sauce and lime juice into a bowl. Mix well, cover and leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours.

To cook the chicken, heat a heavy-bottomed pan over a high heat. Add a little vegetable oil and let it come to temperature. When it’s hot, add the bell peppers. Don’t touch them but let them brown in a single layer.
Toss once or twice and leave them to cook until their edges begin to char and darken. Then, throw in the red onion slices along with salt and pepper, to taste. Leave them to brown also, tossing a few times only. All this should be done on a high heat with you close by at all times.
Remove the peppers and onions from the pan and pop onto a plate.
Add a little more oil to the hot pan, and on a high heat, add the chicken strips. Let them brown in a single layer and then turn over. Brown all over then turn the heat to low, and cover with a lid for 10 minutes or until fully cooked.
Finally, uncover and stir in the peppers and onions to heat through.

To make the homemade tortilla dough, mix the plain flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Add in the vegetable oil and warm water. Mix  with a spoon, then by hand or machine for 2 minutes until a smooth ball of dough has formed.
Cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

To cook the tortillas, heat a dry frying pan or tawa over a medium heat. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out, on a floured surface into a thin circle.
Cook on the hot pan or tawa until bubbles form. Flip and cook for a minute. Flip again and cook until brown spots appear and the tortillas begins to puff up.
Keep warm under a tea towel and continue with the rest.

To make the tomato salsa, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the chopped red onion and cook until soft – about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped garlic and cook for a few minute.
Next, add the chopped jalapeno, cumin seeds and salt. Stir and cook until fragrant – about 2 minutes.
Finally, stir in the tinned tomatoes. Let them come to the boil and then cover. Cook on the lowest heat for 15 minutes. You may leave the lid half open, if the tomatoes begin to sputter.
Taste the salsa, and adjust the seasoning as needed. I ended up adding an extra teaspoon of salt along with ½ of black pepper.
Allow to cool and then stir in the pickled jalapenos, if using.

To assemble the fajitas, take a warm tortilla, spread it with salsa, pile on the chicken and add in anything else you like - grated cheese, fresh coriander, sour cream, mayo, chopped tomato salsa and salad. Wrap and enjoy!

{Chicken, Peppers and Onions adapted from Smitten Kitchen + Tortillas adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine + Tomato Salsa adapted from Nigella}

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Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your fajitas,

Wasalaam!

2 comments

  1. Wa alaykum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, these fajitas look so good and I can't wait to try one of our family favourites - completely homemade in shaa Allah. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jazakillah Khair! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. I can guarantee that they taste so much better when made at home! :)

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