My mom came out from NY to visit a few weeks ago, having recently retired, and as I mentioned in a previous post, I thought it was high time that she put her feet up for a few days and let herself be pampered a bit. Truth be told, she wasn’t one to sit around doing nothing so she helped me put together a quilt Dylan and I were making as a wedding present while I hit the kitchen. I wrote before about our diametrically opposite diets- me a consummate carb-lover and Mom a devotee of a low-carb, high protein and fat diet. It ended up being easier than I had imagined to reach compromises, and after regaling Mom with my favorite fish tacos (sans tortilla for her, natch) and a zucchini ricotta frittata, which she declared the “best frittata ever”, I settled upon this recipe for chicken fajitas with crunchy lime cabbage and avocado for our final dinner before she headed back east.
Originally from the March 2008 issue of Bon Appetit, I found the recipe here on Epicurious, while trying to dream up ways to use up half a head of cabbage. It was a quick and easy dish, once I really read the recipe and realized that the chicken needed to marinate for several hours ahead of time (but who doesn’t love a late-night dinner, right?). What the title doesn’t tell you is how spicy the chicken is- Mom and Dylan seemed not to notice, but I definitely went through a fair bit of water as I scarfed down my fajitas. This is one of those dinners that can suit different tastes and you get to add all of the fixings at the table- Mom skipped the tortillas and went heavy on the avocado, I went light on the chicken (having tasted how spicy it was) and heavier on the veggies and sour cream. Really, it’s up to you. It’s not exactly a revolutionary or ground-breaking meal, but it’s a nice variation on Mexican for a warm weeknight evening.
Chicken fajitas with crunchy lime cabbage and avocado (serves 4-6)
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves,
cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch-thick strips
1 large red onion, halved, sliced lengthwise
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
6 to 8 fajita-size flour tortillas
1 avocado, halved, pitted, sliced
sour cream, optional
1. Whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and chili powder in large bowl. Add chicken, bell pepper, and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature or chill up to 4 hours.
2. Toss cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, lime peel, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat large pan over medium-high heat. Put chicken and vegetables in pan and cook until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are browned, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes.
5. Divide chicken among warm tortillas; top with cabbage mixture and avocado slices, and sour cream, if desired.