For the longest time, I did not understand what the difference is between a taco and fajita. But several Texans and Mexican food experts have since tried to set me straight, so let me try to explain the difference here.
A taco is a traditional Mexican dish made by wrapping a spicy filling made of beef, chicken, pork, or even fish in a flour or corn tortilla. It is served with condiments such as salsa, sour cream, avocado, and cheese.
A fajita is a Tex-Mex dish made by wrapping a spicy filling, such as beef or chicken, in a flour or corn tortilla. Often served with condiments such such as salsa, sour cream, avocado, and cheese.
Still confused? Yea the definitions are practically identical. A fajita is really just an American version of the traditional Mexican taco. True, fajitas are usually made with grilled skirt steak, but as this recipe shows, you can easily use marinated chicken breasts. For me, and most people I’ve talked to about this confusing subject, the defining characteristic of fajitas, and what really separates them from tacos, are the peppers and onions that get served with the grilled meats. These are frequently sauteed, although here I roast them because it is easier and lets me focus on the other aspects of the dish while they vegetables cook.
Margarita Chicken Fajita
1 large green pepper
1 large red pepper
1 large yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
marinated chicken breasts (see below)
1 package fajita-sized tortillas
1 avacado, pitted and thinly sliced
Marinated Chicken Breasts
½ cup jalapeno-infused tequila
¾ cup lime juice
½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon hot chili powder
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb boneless chicken breasts
1) Begin by combining the marinade ingredients in a resealable gallon bag, close, and shake vigorously to mix together. Place the chicken breasts in the bag and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
2) Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Slice bell peppers and onion into half inch wide strips. Toss peppers and onions together with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season liberally with salt & pepper. Place in preheated oven and roast for about 20-30 minutes.
3) While the vegetables roast, remove the chicken from the marinade. Carefully cut the chicken in half to create thinner slices of chicken. This allows you to cook the chicken at a relatively high heat so you get a nice sear on the outside and it cooks fully through.
4) Heat the second tablespoon of olive oil in large cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the chicken to the pan and cook for several minutes, giving the chicken breasts a nice sear then flip and sear the second side. After about 5 minutes, lower heat to medium and cover the pan so the chicken can cook through. Remove chicken from pan when no longer pink in the middle.
5) Carefully cut the chicken into diagonal strips and arrange on a platter with the roasted vegetables and other condiments. Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas.