For Cinco de Mayo I am making fajitas: spicy from two kinds of chili, fragrant with lime, and tipsy on beer. This recipe was inspired by my late brother-in-law and Texas barbecue master, Larry Luna. The juicy and flavorful chicken is twice cooked, first on the grill, then braised in the oven with its marinade. I made chicken fajitas here, but you can also make them with skirt steak. Marinade the steak for at least 3 hours, grill it whole, then cut across the grain into strips before braising it in the marinade.
¼ cup boiling water
3 dried chilies such as Chile California, stems removed
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 cup light-colored beer such as Tecate
2 limes, juiced; zest peeled in long strips
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast fat trimmed and sliced, or 2-3 lb skirt steak.
1 small onion, sliced
4 bell peppers (1 red and 3 green), seeded and cut into strips
2 Tb olive oil
If using skirt steak, slice against the grain and cut into strips. Trim off the fat. Using a tenderizing mallet, pound each strip so that the tenderizing marks show. This is a good way to work out your frustrations and aggressions.
Add chilies to boiling water and let soak for at least 15 minutes. Peel lime zest with vegetable peeler into a long strip, then juice limes. Pour beer, 1 Tb olive oil, and lime juice in blender. Add chilies, jalapeños, soaking water and other seasonings to beer mixture. Whir in blender. Trim fat off of breast, cut into strips, and marinate for an hour or more.
Place chicken on grill, reserving marinade. Put bell peppers and onion in a grill wok and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil. Grill over medium heat until chicken and onions and bell peppers begin to char. (You can also use a wok or heavy pan over the stove).
Heat oven to 300’ Pour marinade into a casserole or clay pot. Add cooked chicken, peppers and onions and lime zest. Bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and avocado slices. Serve with tortillas, Frijoles pintos (Mexican pinto beans) and Sonia’s guacamole.