The ubiquitous fajita—a Tex-Mex platter of sizzling grilled meat with peppers and onions served in so many chain restaurants—hits the mark as a sheet pan supper. And this one has plenty of personality.
Here, chicken is cut into thin strips and then bathed in a citrus marinade seasoned with chili powder, oregano, and cumin, the usual suspects in Mexican cooking. The orange and lime add sweetness, which also helps brown the vegetables and meat so they have a little charred flavor, too.
AN EASY SHEET PAN SUPPER
One-pot and one-pan meals have been around for a long time and for good reason. Who doesn’t want to fix it and forget it with only one pot to clean? The sheet pan offers a hands-off alternative to stove top or grilled fajitas.
Individual ingredients can shine and take on the roasty, toasty flavors that can only come from the oven. If you haven’t invested in a rimmed baking sheet, now is the time to buy one—think of all the meals you can make without breaking a sweat.
THE BEST WAY TO WARM TORTILLAS
Here are my favorite way to warm tortillas:
- Heat over a gas burner: Turn a gas burner to medium-low. When the burner grate is hot, place a tortilla directly on the grate for about 20 seconds, or until it starts to puff slightly. With tongs, turn it over and let it heat for a few more seconds on the other side. A little charring at the edges adds flavor. Do not walk away from the stove while you are doing this or you will have burned tortillas.
- Heat in a skillet: Set a dry skillet over medium heat and heat until hot. Lay one tortilla at a time on the hot pan and turn, as above. Use 2 pans or a pancake griddle if you want to heat more than one at time.
- Heat in the microwave: Wrap 1 to 3 tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds, or until hot. I actually never do this because I like the charred flavor from heating the tortillas over the burner or in a pan, which only takes a few minutes longer, but if you are in a hurry, it’s fine to heat them that way.
Once warmed, wrap the tortillas in a tea towel or cloth napkin to keep them hot at the table and let everyone take tortillas from the pile.
You are going to love the convenience and ease of this supper. It’s found its way into our rotation now, because, you know, it’s the family motto: Everything goes better in a tortilla!
MORE SHEET PAN DINNERS!
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas with Peppers and Onions Recipe
For the marinade:
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 small orange)
- 2 tablespoons pickling juice, from a jar of pickled jalapeños (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder (or chili powder blend)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the chicken and vegetables:
- 1 large red or yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2 large sweet bell peppers (red, yellow or green, or a combination), cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch strips
- 8 to 12 corn tortillas
1 Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.
2 Make the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, orange juice, pickling juice, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and salt. Whisk in the olive oil. Pour half of the marinade into a separate bowl or cup, and set aside.
3 Marinate the chicken: Add the chicken to the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat, and set aside to marinate while the peppers and onions are roasting (about 15 minutes).
4 Cook the peppers and onions: In the center of a sheet pan, mound the onions and peppers. Drizzle the reserved half of the marinade over them and toss to coat.
Spread them in one layer and roast for about 15 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
5 Cook the chicken with the peppers and onions: Add the chicken strips to the pan with the softened vegetables, distributing them among the peppers and onions. Drizzle any excess marinade over the pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (at least 165ºF when measured with an instant read thermometer).
6 Broil the chicken and vegetables to char them: Set a rack 3 to 4 inches from the broiler and turn on the broiler. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the chicken and vegetables are lightly charred.
7 Warm the tortillas: Set a dry skillet over medium heat and heat until hot. Lay one tortilla at a time on the hot pan and turn, as above. Use 2 pans or a pancake griddle if you want to heat more than one at time.
Alternately, you can place a tortilla (one at a time) directly over a gas burner on medium-low heat for about 20 seconds, or until it starts to puff slightly. With tongs, turn it over and let it heat for a few more seconds on the other side.
The microwave also works. Just wrap 1 to 3 tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds, or until hot.
Wrap the warm tortillas in a napkin and set them on a plate.
8 Serve the fajitas: Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a warm platter. Bring the platter and the warm tortillas to the table for people to help themselves. Serve with lime wedges, cilantro, and avocado. If you like, you could serve with rice and beans, too.
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