Friday, August 17, 2012

Mexican Food Friday (Chicken Fajitas with Cilantro Poblano Pesto)

Michael and I are incredibly fortunate to live close to where we went to college.  Not only because of our proximity to the campus on which we met and fell in love, but also because we have a close group of friends from college that live close by.   They are and have always been like family. 

fall 2010 flag football champs

We are the type of friends that play flag football on Sundays and have our own Thanksgiving dinner together every year. We watch March Madness together and chant "U-S-A" (yes, those two go hand-in-hand). We have an entire party devoted to cutting paper snowflakes  (but we'll come back to that).    Over the years,  we have had many different reasons to get together regularly and that's part of why we are so close.  For awhile, that excuse was "Mexican Food Friday."  Just like it sounds, we got together every Friday to eat Mexican food at our favorite restaurants.  Although this is no longer a weekly event, it still happens occasionally (it actually made a brief comeback towards the end of my pregnancy, but I think they were just humoring me).  This recipe is in honor of those nostalgic "Mexican food Fridays" and the friends that made them legendary.

Chicken Fajitas with Cilantro and Poblano Pesto


for cilantro and poblano pesto:
-3 T. olive oil
-1 small or 1/2 medium poblano pepper
-1 c. fresh cilantro
-2 cloves garlic (or a spoonful of minced garlic)
-1/2 t. each chili powder, cumin, and paprika
-1 t. salt
-1/2 t. black pepper

other ingredients:
-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
-2 T. oil
-1 small or other 1/2 of medium poblano pepper
-1 medium onion
-1 each red/green bell peppers
-whole wheat tortillas
-serving suggestions:  sliced tomato/avocado, greek yogurt as sour cream

make the pesto first so chicken can marinate


1.  Make the "pesto" marinade first.  Roughly chop the poblano pepper, garlic cloves, and about 1 c. of fresh cilantro and place in blender or food processor (I broke out the Magic Bullet because it's perfect for these small jobs when I want everything pulverized). 

2.  Add olive oil and spices and blend until smooth.

see why I call it pesto? 

3.  Slice the chicken, place in gallon Ziplock bag or air tight container.  Pour pesto over chicken and shake/squish (such a technical term!) to coat evenly.  Marinate in refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.

4.   Once chicken has marinated, thinly slice the onion and peppers.

5.  Heat 1-2 T. olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and pesto and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

6.  Remove chicken from pan and set aside.  Add onion and peppers to the same pan (may need to add 1 T. olive oil to keep from sticking) and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and peppers are soft, about 5-7 minutes.

7.  Return chicken to pan, stir to combine.  Serve immediately.

happy mexican food friday!

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