When I think about fajitas, one thing comes to mind….date night with my girl. Usually, all of the stars must align in order for a date nigh to even to occur. We are both divorced and we both have children. So, in order for this to happen, we have to be childless, meaning my kids are with my ex and her kid is with her ex. Catch my drift? Don’t get me wrong, we both love our children and we especially love when all of us are together on the same night which also only occurs with a special alignment of stars. I’ll explain this eventually.
On date night, we usually venture on over to our local Mexican flair for Fajitas for Two. I start out with my usual, a Dos Equis. My girl likes what I call, a tanker-truck full of top-shelf margarita, on the rocks with salt. Along with our drinks, we like to have a little appetizer. At our favorite Mexican dive, the cheese dip with minced jalapenos is the best! Then the fajitas for two arrive. Since we can’t agree on either chicken or steak, we order a combination of both! Nice.
This date night thing got me thinking…what if I could re-create this at home? Why, you may ask? Several reasons. First, we enjoy being home together, especially alone, on the rare occasion that we have no children. Second, because we love sitting on our deck in our wooded backyard on our little one acre lot in Marietta, Georgia, which -by the way- is crawling distance from The Big Chicken (the locals know what I’m talking about-I’ll explain another time). Isn’t that enough? Okay. Okay. So, it just so happens I love to cook and it just so happens I own a Kamado Joe. There. Now on with the rest of the story.
I decided to surprise my girl with a home-cooked backyard dinner on the Kamado Joe grill. Let me just tell you, I outdid myself on my first try. Now, is there room for improvement? Of course. But, these fajitas turned out to be some of the best damn fajitas I’ve ever had in my entire life and my girl agrees!
Like everyone else, I used Google to find a recipe. I looked at several sites and I put together my own twist, based on a few really good-sounding recipes. Here’s what I came up with, but don’t hold me to it. I’m not a test kitchen. I just like to cook and eat. So, feel free to make adjustments.
12 oz. of lemon juice
1 cup of pineapple juice
½ cup of Worcestershire sauce
1 T of minced garlic
1 T of cumin
½ t of salt
1 t of pepper
½ cup of chili powder
2 T of paprika
1 t of crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup of coarsely chopped cilantro
2 boneless skinless chicken breast
One sliced green bell pepper
One sliced red bell pepper
One sliced large onion
Grape seed oil
6 flour tortillas
Prepare the first eleven ingredients by mixing together. This is your marinade.
Add the two chicken breasts to the marinade. Allow this to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours (that’s what we did, but longer might be even be better). Prepare your grill for direct and indirect cooking. Place a 12” Lodge cast iron skillet on the indirect side. Set the air adjustment on a kamado type grill to heat up to 500 degrees. When the grill reaches 500 degrees. Add chicken breast to the direct side of the grill, save marinade. Cook chicken to 165 degrees internal temp. You need to use a good thermometer to ensure your chicken is done. I use and swear by Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4 which I have found to be the most accurate and reliable. Remove chicken breast, once they have reached 165 degrees internal temp. Pour a thin layer of grapeseed oil into the cast iron skillet that has been resting on the indirect heat side. Add peppers and onions. Allow them to cook at 500 degrees on indirect heat while you prepare the chicken. To prepare the chicken, place it on a cutting board and slice across the grain in thin strips to your liking. Check on your peppers and onions during this. If needed, move skillet over to direct heat to speed up cooking. Once they are within a few minutes of desired texture, add the sliced chicken back in. Continue to stir. Pour enough left-over marinade over the skillet to coat. Stir until liquid has evaporated from the bottom of the pan. Remove skillet from grill. Cover with aluminum foil. Let sit for a few minutes while you prepare tortillas. Place each tortilla on the grill for just a few seconds, only to warm them up, not to cook them. Garnish with Pico De Gallo, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, etc.