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Recipe: Sizzling Fajita Chicken Salad


I have been eating and making “Sizzling Salads” for years. I was first intoroduced to them when I worked for a large company in upstate New York. We had a terrific cafeteria on the basement floor of out building which was run by the Marriott.

They did specials, one of which was a “Sizzling Salad” day… when the chefs would make to order these wonderful hot/cold salads. The cold was the bed of salad greens and the hot were from the sauté pan. I only remember the Italian variations of the ingredients… and quite possibly the reason for that may very well have been because my choices were sautéed traditional Italian ingredients and seasonings.

My son benefitted from my lunch choices.. since I would turn around and make them for some of our weeknight meals. As time progressed, I became more adventuresome and started making Southwestern and Mexican version….

I particularly love these salads in the summer.. all the fresh produce to choose from ….and the suppers are light and delicious.

I was recently telling Warren about them.. when he showed interest and also offered to get me the grill pan I’ve been wanting…. I decided to start making them for him…. the first version I tried out on him was my Sizzling Fajita Chicken Salad…. I must say… he immediately deemed it what in this house we call a “do-over”.

TIPS

The recipe uses my Fajita seasoning… you can use a commercial Fajita seasoning.. but I urge you to try my seasoning recipe… you can find the recipe here. I make a jar of it and use it all the time when seasoning many Mexican and Southwestern dishes…. use as little or as much as you like… it makes seasoning everything from a meatloaf to veggie dips a snap and at a fraction of the cost to buy those pre-made seasoning packs… AND you know what goes into the ingredients.

I used a cast iron grill pan.. you can use a regular skillet with high enough sides to hold the fajita mixture… just know that your meat will not get the grill marks… also cast iron get very hot and sears in the juices and flavor in meat… the meat is unbelievably tender…

My directions give you the ingredient amounts for the marinade… which should be discarded after you’re done marinating the meat… it will contain bacteria from the meat that you don’t want in your final dish. Instead… I also give you directions for the Fajita Seasoning mixture to add after cooking the meat… use that in your final step of cooking…. it is safer to use.

You can serve this recipe as a Chicken Fajitas… just serve with warmed tortillas… or it is also delicious over rice.

This recipe makes 4 average size servings or 3 large servings.

This really is quick and easy.. just clean and cut your peppers and onions ahead of time and it will be a snap to make.






Recipe: Sizzling Fajita Chicken Salad

All you need:

To make the marinade:

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ can (4.5 oz.) chopped green chiles
1 green onion, coarsely chopped
1 Roma or Plum tomato, coasrsely chopped
3 tablespoons Fajita Seasoning
½ cup water

To make the cooking liquid:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ can (4.5 oz.) chopped green chiles
1 green onion, coarsely chopped
1 Roma or Plum tomato, coasrsely chopped
2-3 tablespoons Fajita seasoning (to taste)
¼ cup water

Other ingredients:

2 thick boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ green pepper, cut into thin strips
½ red pepper, cut into thin strips
½ yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium onion, cut in half then cut into slices
Salad greens

Garnishes:

Chopped Plum or Roma tomatoes
Chopped green onions
Grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
Sour cream
Guacamole
Fresh Express Tortilla Strips

All you need to do:



Place all the marinade ingredients EXCEPT the water into a small food processor.

Pulse until well chopped and mixed.





Dump the contents from the processor into a glass dish, add the water and mix well.







Add the chicken and cover. Marinate at least an hour in the refrigerator.







Prepare the cooking liquid ingredients in a large measuring cup.. store in the refrigerator until you need it.






Brush a cast iron grill pan or skillet with extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium high heat.

Cook the chicken until done (no longer pink in center)… time will depend on how thick your chicken breasts are… mine took about 8 minutes a side.

Remove the chicken to a cutting boards and slice… set aside.


Add about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to the pan and add the peppers and onions.

Cook until slightly soft… stirring often.




Remove the prepared cooking liquid from the refrigerator and stir.

Add the meat back into the pan and then pour the prepared cooking liquid over the meat and vegetables.. careful not to spill any over the sides of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes.



Turn the heat off and remove the meat and vegetables to a bowl.





Spread the salad greens over a plate.

Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes.

Add a large spoonful or two of the Fajita Chicken mixture.

Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, chopped green onion and tortilla strips.

Add a dollop of sour cream and guacamole.

Serve immediately.

2 comments:

Mz. Neicy August 11, 2010 at 9:55 PM  

Wow this sounds sooooooo good I'm going to have to give it a go. I love innovative ways to make salads.

Foodessa August 13, 2010 at 7:47 AM  

Linda...this is an incredibly appetizing recipe. I may just use the chicken thighs instead of the breast...and I'm good to go.

Excellent ingredient preparation and photos ;o)

Flavourful wishes,
Claudia

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