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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Recipe: Chicken Fajitas (Crock Pot Friendly)

I'm nothing if not a trailblazer... said nobody... ever... about me.  I'm more of an "ahaaaa!" moment kind of girl -- and usually long after everyone else has done their ahaaaas!  I thought I'd share this particular "ahaaaa!" moment with you.

I have a recipe that our family has used for chicken fajitas forEVER.  The kids (especially) love it.  In fact, if they ask what we're having for supper and I say "chicken," they always ask, "Chicken Fajitas?"  It kind of makes me nuts because, really people?  Can we eat something besides Chicken Fajitas?

But some days, I confess, it sounds good to me too, and I WISH that I had thought to marinate the chicken earlier so that we could have fajitas for dinner.  Typically I grill the chicken [either outside, or on the George Foreman grill] and cut it in strips for the fajitas.  Depending on where the grilling fits into my day, that may mean re-heating the chicken when it's time to eat.  But wouldn't it be IDEAL if I could just pop the chicken in the crock pot and let it simmer away in the marinade all day?  Then, I could just shred it, and....  Wait!

What did I just say?  Of course: IN THE CROCK POT!! Why didn't I think of that before??


So, I challenged myself to make our favorite Chicken Fajita recipe in a new way... in the crock pot.  My plan was to use our favorite marinade recipe which only has TWO ingredients in addition to the chicken:
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice

How easy is that?  Obviously, this isn't a traditional, spicy, Mexican-style kind of fajita.  Typically, we serve green pepper slices (fresh or steamed a little in the microwave), shredded cheese, salsa, and [of course] soft tortillas with these.  When my mom serves them, she often has sour cream.

Anyway, here's what I did.  I used the amount of frozen chicken breasts that would be appropriate for our family.  I trimmed off some visible fat, and put the chicken in the crock pot.  I poured the marinade over the top, and set it on low.  Initially, the marinade did not cover the chicken.  Not even close.  But, during the day, I opened the crock pot, and move the chicken around.  This helped the chicken to cook evenly, but it also allowed each piece of meat to be in the marinade.  Eventually, the chicken cooked down, and the juices got added to the marinade, creating more liquid.  When I felt the chicken was cooked, I took it out and shredded it.  I skimmed the remaining marinade for any fat, and then added the shredded chicken back into the marinade.  [Please note that it's only okay to do this since the marinade was also COOKED!]

Now, we'll see what kind of reviews this gets from the family.

The verdict is in:

  • My son and daughter loved it.  My son mentioned how much more the flavors of the marinade permeated the meat when cooked this way.
  • My husband still prefers his chicken grilled & sliced.
  • And, as for me?  I really enjoyed it.  1).I agree with my son's comments, however, the meat definitely seemed more salty when cooked this way.  Next time, I might add some water to the marinade to dilute it a bit.  2).I really like the meat shredded rather than sliced.  3). It was the first time when I ever felt like I had my act together for a Chicken Fajita dinner!  That's huge to me.

Have you tried any "old favorites" in the crockpot lately?


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