Those of you who read my column regularly know that I am keenly interested in the history of the dishes I prepare. Today's dish is no exception.
Many people mistakenly assume fajitas originated in Mexico. I know that's what I thought. The truth is their origin is traced to Texas in the early 1900's where cowhands received a portion of their compensation in the form of scrap beef. These cowhands became accomplished at taking these undesirable cuts (such as the skirt steak as we know it today) and making hearty meals.
The fajita is one of those dishes, with the origin of the word being traced to the Spanish word “faja” which means “belt” or “girdle,” which explains the name “skirt steak.”
Today's recipe focuses on chicken instead of beef, and the marinade is the key. Our family has been using this marinade for years; it is a combination of a couple of marinades that have been tweaked. It's simple and delicious. This marinade is used with 1 ½ lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can see the video I just posted at www.YouTube.com/BBQMyWay.
Chicken Fajita Marinade
• ½ can of your favorite beer
• 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
• 1 Tbs brown sugar
• 1 Tbs olive oil
• 2 to 3 cloves of chopped garlic
• ¾ tsp ground cumin
• ¼ cup chopped cilantro
• dash of salt
Mix all ingredients listed above and pour over chicken in a zip lock bag. Allow to marinate for 1 to 2 hours.
Cut in lengthwise strips a green bell pepper, a red bell pepper, a yellow bell pepper and a small onion.
Place in a bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and lightly toss.
The grill should be set up with indirect heat, meaning the coals are on one side of the grill, or one section of your gas grill is not turned on. Saute' the peppers and onion over the fire in a cast iron skillet, or better yet, one of the metal bowls with small holes meant for use on the grill.