when i lived in new york city i had a favorite quick, cheap mexican place as a go-to for dinner. it wasn't nearly "authentic" mexican, but somewhere between that and the oozy, greasy, cheesy, incarnation that tex-mex often becomes. it had all the usuals, and normally i like fajitas because i'm such a sucker for sizzling platters of food! but i wasn't terribly fond of the fajitas at this particular place because while sizzling in temperature, it never seemed to really dazzle me in flavor.
so when i saw this recipe in martha's magazine a couple months ago i definitely wanted to try it. and fajitas are one of those recipes where one can think, do i really need a recipe? cut up some peppers, onions, meat and toss it in a hot skillet! and true, it doesn't really get (and shouldn't get) much more complicated than that. but i was really curious about this "mojo de ajo," especially since we loved bobby flay's mojo on a grilled pork tenderloin.
evidently mojo is the cure-all because it's definitely what my go-to place was missing in their fajitas! plus the combination of thighs and breasts (gee, that phrase seems awkward, huh?!) made it so much more flavorful. we only served ours with guacamole and pico, no cheese or sour cream (the guacamole is creamy enough!) i think this is a perfect dish for impromptu summer dinner -- quick, easy, and ready to share with friends or family!
chicken fajitas with mojo de ajo: serves 4
adapted from martha stewart living (june 2009, original recipe click here)
mojo de ajo
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tb minced garlic (4-6 cloves)
3 tb fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tsp red-pepper flakes
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tb olive oil
1/2 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices (about 1 cup)
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced 1/2 inch thick
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2), slicked 1/2 inch thick
8 small 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed
salt + pepper to taste
pico de gallo
1. make the mojo: cook oil and garlic in small saucepan over low heat until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. remove from heat, stir in lime juice, red pepper, and salt.
2. heat large skillet over high heat, add oil and gently coat. add onion and bell pepper, season with salt. cook, stirring frequently, until onion is bornwed in spots and pepper has softened slightly with blistered skins, about 5 minutes.
3. add chicken, salt, and stir and cook until chicken is browned and thoroughly cooked, 5-7 minutes (you can finish in the oven if you chose).
4. add mojo de ajo, and stir to coat. season with salt and pepper. serve immediately with guacamole, pico de gallo, and warm tortillas!