OK, some will argue that these are quesadillas and not fajitas. They look like quesadillas but the ingredients are all fajita. And you know what they say - it's what's on the inside that counts.
I love making fajitas. Easy, relatively healthy compared to the bacon wrapped stuff I am normally doing, and delicious. I always make them inside but it can't be that different to make them outside, right? And thus I did just that. Grilled up some fajitas right on the grill. So click below for all the crunchy, gooey, delicious details...
First the ingredients to serve 2:
2 Chicken breasts
2 Bell peppers (any color will do)
1 Medium onion
4 Tortilla shells
1 Bag of shredded cheese of your choice (I used Colby Jack)
Chipotle Tobasco Sauce - for marinade
1 Tsp minced garlic - for marinade
1 Tbsp minced garlic
Fresh cracked black pepper
Non food necessities
Vegetable/fish grill pan
Place the chicken breasts in a zip bag with garlic, black pepper and enough Chipotle Tobasco to coat. It will not be as hot as it seems. Marinade overnight.
The next day slice up the peppers and onion:
Get the grill ready by building a medium hot fire and while this is still two zone cooking my hot zone is larger than usual which is necessary for the grill pan and the chicken to have enough room to cook:
Open a nice bottle of chard like this 2007 Jekel:
While I was pouring the wine I poured a little olive oil into a bowl:
Take a grill pan such as the one blow and brush some of the olive oil over the bottom and put the peppers in. I also brushed some oil over the top of the veggies hoping to get a little flare up:
Wait on the onions as the peppers take longer to cook. Don't worry if you get a little flame action. That's a good thing:
Once the peppers have been on 3-4 minutes throw the chicken breasts on next to them:
After another 2-3 minutes put the onion in with the peppers:
Cook the breasts till they firm up and produce clear juices. How about those crosshatch grill marks on those chicken breasts?!?!
The peppers are getting some nice blackening. Peppers contain quite a bit of sugar and thus blacken easily. That is OK. We want them blackened a bit:
I pulled the chicken when they were done and put them on a cutting board to slice. The peppers/onions are done too at this point. I stirred in a nice table spoon of minced garlic and leave on the heat for about 1 more minute then pull to the side to stay warm.
Now I take my grill brush and brush some olive oil all over one side of a fajita shell and place it directly over the heat. Do not walk away at this point. Need a refill or to get something do so before putting the tortilla shells on the grill. They will cook in a matter of seconds. The olive oil slows that down just a bit:
Brown one side of all four tortillas. Apply olive oil to the non browned side and then place tortilla brown side up (that is not a typo) and I will explain why in a minute:
Now layer on some shredded cheese and then peppers and onions:
Then a layer of sliced chicken:
Then more cheese:
Then put the other fajita shell on top of with the browned side down and brush more olive oil over it:
Repeat this process for the other fajita.
In the mean time I condensed my coals to a smaller pile that will keep the heat up. I don't need to keep the grill pan and chicken breasts on the grill so I don't need that much cooking space and it will save me some time waiting on extra charcoal from catching and producing heat. I just need room for one fajita at a time:
I place one of them directly over the coals again checking frequently that the tortilla does not burn:
Once it is nicely browned flip it over with a large spatula. This seems like it would be a huge mess but the cheese melts and binds it all together. More nice crosshatching:
Once it is browned on both sides I pull it off to the side with no coals to stay warm and repeat the process with the second fajita:
Now that both are browned on all sides pull them to the side with no coals and close the lid for a few minutes to make sure they are both warm for serving:
And finally bring them inside for cutting. Cut them just like a pizza:
We serve ours with a side of salsa and sour cream to be added separately but feel free to change that up. If you want to go with salsa in the fajita while cooking it - go for it. Want to add some fresh tomatoes or corn - then by all means. Want to add some jalapenos - knock yourself out. There is not right or wrong way of doing these. I've even done these with turkey, swiss cheese and basil pesto. Sort of a Bistro Fajita.
Now the reason to brown one side of each fajita and then place the browned side inward toward the fajita filling is to make the shell extra crunchy. If I were to just toast the outside of the tortillas they would have some crunch, particularly around the edges but would be pretty soft in the middle and get even more so as it sits on a plate with the juices from the meat and the peppers oozing over the tortilla. With this method it will be very crunchy the entire meal.