DIY’ing at the dinner table has always been a thing in my family. Growing up the most popular make it yourself spread was the chicken fajita. And while these memories are of simpler times, i.e., shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, Kraft shredded cheddar, and grilled chicken, there is no denying that the famous sizzlin’ fajita is just really damn delish, no matter the sum of the parts.
By classing it up a bit with authentic Mexican spices, restaurant worthy – make ahead side dishes, and some adult beverages, fajita night is still a major thing in adulthood (wait, I have to be an adult?). So when days like Cinco de Mayo roll around, or just about any other Friday night, the fajita is one serious party participation pleaser.
For the Chicken:
One 5 lb. whole chicken
Marinade: 1 Tbsp. fat free Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chile powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sauce from canned adobe chipotle peppers (available in your grocer's Mexican Food aisle)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Side Dishes: Chipotle Pepper Veggie Sauté
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced into 1/2
1 medium sized red pepper, diced into 1/2
2 ears of corn
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 chipotle pepper from the canned adobe chipotle pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Serve with Rice & Black Beans, Guacamole, Cheese, Salsa, and Hot Sauce
Marinate the whole chicken for 1 hour or over night: Place the whole chicken, breast side up, in a medium sized bowl, making sure to pat dry and remove any water and liquid from the bottom of the bowl.
In a small bowl, mix together all of the chicken marinade ingredients. Using your hands, make a space in between the breast meat and the skin on top of the meat, without breaking off the skin. Using a spoon, spoon in the cumin and chipotle pepper mixture into each side. Rub down with your hands.
Rub the remaining all over the top of the bird. Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hr or overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400° F. Put the 2 ears of corn into the oven (still in the husk). Allow to roast in oven for 10 minutes.
Heat a castiron skillet on high heat for 3 minutes. Add in 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
Using a pair of tongs, place the chicken breast side down, being careful not to get splattered by hot oil. Allow to brown for 5 minutes. Flip to the other side. Allow to brain for a couple of minutes. Transfer to the oven. Take out the corn husks and allow to cool. Then cut off the kernels.
Cook for 20 minutes, checking every 10 minutes to ensure it isn’t getting too dark on top. After 20-25 minutes, cover with aluminum foil, and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Take out and allow it to rest for 5 minutes in the cast iron skillet. After resting, ensure the internal temperature is 165ºF.
While it’s cooking make the veggie sauté. In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the other veggies and the spices, stir, allowing the spices to heat up. Add in 1 Tbsp. water and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook, covered for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Take off heat until ready to serve.
Get together all other ingredients while your chicken is finishing up. Set up a buffet or family style meal for the DIY spread.
When chicken is finished and has rested for 5 minutes (this is very important!!), place onto a cutting board and cut off the breasts and then the thighs. Take off the meat and cut up. Place onto a serving dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges or plain.
Looking for more delicious side dishes for your dinner spread, check out more HERE