Smoky Fajita Chicken

My mom used to be famous among my friends for her fajitas, and she always used a bottle of marinade called Fabulosa. Its almost like a more savory and seasoned liquid smoke-and I’ve never found anything even remotely close to it in flavor. Since I’ve gotten a little more experienced with combining flavors, I still use some of that marinade, but add fresh citrus, some veggies and different spices to heighten the flavor. This is the chicken marinade I use for everything and anything Mexican. Shredded in tacos, sliced for fajitas, diced for nachos, shredded and put in enchiladas, even grilled and diced on top of a cool crisp salad.

I find Fabulosa at HEB, Brookshires, Wal-mart, Kroger and its always in the salad dressing/condiment aisle. If you don’t live near those, Amazon sells it in packs of 6 or 8. (I promise you’ll want to use it again and again.)IMG_4279

*Marinade for 2-6 hours. I bake this chicken in an oven on a baking sheet to keep it juicy, and actually prefer it to the grill. If you are meal prepping or getting things ready early in the week, mix up this marinade, add your chicken to a ziplock bag, pour over, let soak in for 2-6 hours and freeze right in the bag until you need it. 

Ingredients: (for 2 large chicken breasts-which feeds at least 4 people)

  • 1/2 bottle Fabulosa fajita marinade (if you are using more than 2 chicken breasts, use the whole bottle)
  • 1 large lime juiced and zested (2 small limes will work)
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 Red onion sliced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 TBSP Cilantro
  • 1/2 Jalapeno seeded and sliced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt, 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 C Orange juice (from fresh orange or a pure bottled juice like Simply Orange)
  • 1/4 c water

I always rinse my chicken well and trim the fat off when I get home from the grocery store. I separate my chicken into different Ziploc freezer proof bags and write on the bag with a marker dictating what flavor or meal it will be used for. If you go this route, you can marinade the chicken right in the bag-its definitely the easiest. You can freeze the marinade and chicken in the bag then thaw before baking or grilling. Huge time saver.

To make the marinade:

  1. In a large glass measuring bowl or regular bowl, pour in the fabulosa, zest the lime then add the juice. Stir well with a whisk.

    2. Add the sliced garlic, the sliced jalapeño, the chili power and the cumin. You don’t have to worry about chopping anything small or perfectly because we only use it to flavor the marinade-we won’t actually eat these things.

    3. Add the sliced onion, the smoked paprika, the cilantro and the black pepper.

    4. Add the salt, the orange juice and the water. Stir well to combine everything.

    5. Once combined, pour the marinade into a ziploc bag with your chicken-try to let most of the air out and make sure the marinade coats every piece of chicken well. Refrigerate 2-6 hours and let the magic happen.

    To cook: Remove the chicken from the bag, shaking off any chunks from the marinade. I always bake my chicken on a nonstick foil lined baking sheet and it results the the most juicy chicken. Bake chicken at 375 for 30minutes. THE SMELL- is heaven. Im serious. I want a candle that smells like it.

    After the chicken bakes for 30 minutes, its ready to go. Remove from pan and transfer to a cutting board. You can shred it for tacos, enchiladas and nachos, slice it for fajitas, dice it for street tacos- pile it in a bowl with some black beans and sweet potato, or use it over a cool crisp salad with some black beans and a honey-lime dressing.

I hope you try this one- I make it all the time when we entertain, and its SO flavorful that a little goes a long way.

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