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Fajita Recipes For Perfect Grilled Fajitas

Not all that many years ago, Fajita Recipes all called for beef skirt steak as the meat of choice. There were no chicken fajitas, so of course there were no chicken fajita recipes. There were no shrimp fajitas. And there were no fajitas made out of any other beef but the beef skirt.
What is the beef skirt? Well it is the part of the diaphragm muscle on beef cattle. Skirt steak is very flavorful and streaked with fat. It makes a delicious steak when properly prepared and cooked.

Since it is one of the less tender cuts of beef, skirt steak is sometimes marinated and pounded before cooking. The Spanish word "fajita", loosely translated into English, means "skirt".

Now, with that said, these days there is definitely a trend in cooking fajitas using chicken, shrimp, or even vegetables. The old Tex-Mex food purists have been fighting this one for a few years, but the idea of using other meats came from various restaurants' desire to sell other ideas using the popular fajita-grilling techniques.

The word "fajita" has kind of morphed into meaning anything cut into small pieces and grilled. The use of other meats and foods as "fajita meat" is definitely here to stay, as chicken has surpassed beef skirt on the restaurant fajita popularity list.

The usual way of serving fajitas is by bringing the meat right to the table from the grill, on a very hot plate and still sizzling. This is usually served along with sides of guacamole, shredded lettuce, refried beans, sour cream, grilled onions and peppers, and pico de gallo(kind of a salsa mixture containing hot peppers and other vegetables and spices), and/or salsa. Of course, other fixins can be served as well.

Everyone at the table just fills hot flour tortillas with their favorite "fajita fixins" and eats. It is really a great meal to fix for a large group or party because of all the choices each individual has. A fajita dinner done right(see fajita recipes below) will never disappoint.

We'll start with this chicken fajita recipe since this is the easiest of the fajita recipes to cook if it is your first time trying them.

Chicken Fajita Recipe

1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup favorite bottled red hot sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 crushed dried habanero
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
12 flour tortillas
shredded lettuce
sour cream
shredded cheese
pico de gallo

DIRECTIONS: Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Trim off any fat or gristle. In a large bowl, combine taco sauce, lime juice, tequila, jalapenos, garlic, salt, and cumin. Add chicken and toss to coat.

Cover and put in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight if you like.

Prepare your grill. Lay your chicken on the hot and oiled grill about 4 inches from the fire. Grill, turning frequently, until chicken is just brown on the outside and is cooked throughout, about 8-10 minutes.

Heat tortillas directly on grill for 20 to 30 seconds per side, and wrap in a clean cloth or foil.

To serve, put chicken strips on tortillas. Top with all the sides. Roll up and eat.

Here's the classic original of all fajita recipes.

Beef Fajitas

1 Bottle of Worcestershire Sauce
2 Sections of crushed fresh garlic
3 fresh limes
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

MEAT: 3-4 lbs. Fresh Beef skirt steaks.

Remove as much of the outer membrane as possible. You can do this by stripping it with your hands(or a pair of pliers). Get off as much as you can or the meat will be tough. Set skirt steaks to the side in a large bowl while you make the marinate.

In a medium bowl combine crushed garlic. Pour in the Worcestershire, and add brown sugar, thyme, and cumin, and cilantro. Squeeze in the limes and throw the rinds in the liquid.

Pour the liquid over the skirts and make sure the meat is completely covered.(Add water to make up any shortage). Cover with plastic wrap and let chill overnight in the fridge if possible.

About an hour before you cook, let meat come to room temperature.

Start a charcoal grill fire(if you have a charcoal grill) and wait till glowing. Note: Use some Mesquite wood if you can get it. This will make it truly Tex-Mex. Soak some dry mesquite wood chips in warm water for 20 minutes before cooking.

When fire is hot place 3 or 4 mesquite chips on fire and begin grilling the fajitas, keeping covered to get some smoke in them. Keep a spray bottle with clean water handy and spray the coals create smoke and to keep the fajitas from burning.

Baste the fajitas one time on each side with leftover marinade. Cook until there is a nice little amount of char on the outside, and medium on the inside. When the fajitas are done quickly cut them up across the grain into thin 1/2" strips and serve with fajita fixins and hot flour tortillas.

Here is one of the fajita recipes with the shortest of cooking times. Because of the sauce used, this one is best done on a skillet indoors. But with a couple of changes you can put the shrimp on skewers and grill them outside.

Shrimp Fajitas

INGREDIENTS: 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 pounds fresh jumbo shrimp, peeled
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups pico de gallo
1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt

In a large skillet, saute garlic with butter until just lightly browned. Add shrimp and saute until pink. Add white wine and let simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Add pico de gallo and seasoning salt to taste. Serve with rice, guacamole, refried beans, and tortillas.

Any of these fajita recipes would work well any time. But if you are having a party or feeding quite a few people, use a couple or all of these fajita recipes for a real Tex-Mex grilled feast. Everyone will surely be pleased.

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