Thursday, January 27, 2011

Eating with Liz 2011 - Fajitas

Hi, it's time for a new recipe. Fajitas aren't a new food at our house, but I have never tried the fajita chicken in the Crockpot before. I'm still learning what all I should and shouldn't cook in my Crockpot so this was a new adventure.
I love my Crockpot. I like that I can put food in and leave it for the day and by the time I get home from work my dinner is all cooked and I'll I have to do is dish it up. That takes a lot of stress off some days… problem is, I just have to a) remember to put tomorrow's dinner together the night before and then b) remember to pull it out of the fridge in the mornings. My Crockpot is not very big and it's round so that limits the amount and shape of things that I can put in it. Maybe someday when there is more to feed than just me and John I'll invest in a nice big oval Crockpot.

Now, on with the recipe:

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 4 to 5 hours (mostly unattended)
3 to 4 pound whole chicken
1 packet fajita seasoning
1 onion, chopped
olive oil
1 lemon, cut in half
1 red pepper, julienned
1 orange pepper, julienned
(I also used a yellow one)
whole wheat tortillas
shredded cheese
sour cream
(none for us thanks)
Remove giblets and rinse chicken inside and out. Pat dry and use kitchen scissors to cut the entire skin off. Rub fajita seasoning all over chicken and place lemon slices inside. Line the bottom of your crock pot with onions and place chicken on top of onions. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the chicken and set the slow cooker on high for 1 hour. When the timer goes off, set the crock pot to low and cook for 3 to 4 hours. Just before the crock pot is done, sauté peppers in 1 tablespoon olive oil until just soft. Set out the sour cream, cheese, guacamole and peppers. When the chicken is done, use your fork to pull off and plate chunks of meat. (It will fall right off the bone.) Warm your tortillas and serve. (Note: you can cook this chicken for 8 hours on low if you prefer to prep in the morning and leave it all day.)

Fist off… Skinning a chicken is not as easy as some people make it sound. I had a heck of a time ripping the flesh off of that poor little fowl.

I made my own Fajita Seasoning for this recipe. I had never done that before and it turned out pretty good. I used this recipe:

1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon crushed chicken bouillon cube (I just buy the bouillon powder and don't bother with cubes.)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I only used 1/8 tsp we don't like too spicy here.)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (We didn't use the pepper flakes.)
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into small glass or plastic container, seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place. Makes the equivalent of 3 packets of commercial or purchased Fajita Seasoning Mix.

What Did We Think of This Recipe??
All in all this meal was pretty good. The fajita seasoning didn't turn out as spicy as I expected it to be. Probably due to only using half of the pepper, but that's okay with us. It had a really good flavor.

Getting dinner on the table turned out to be a bit more of a chore than I thought. I started sautéing the pepper when there was about 30 minutes left on the timer. And it seriously took forever for them to soften. Then, once the peppers were looking okay I pulled the chicken out and pulled all the meat off the carcass. Next I started pulling everything else out for the eating:
Tortillas – Check.
Sour Cream – Check.
Salsa – Check.
Cheese – ummm… Cheese? Turns out the last person to empty the cheese bag (me) didn't pull a new one out of the freezer – did you know that it is nearly impossible to defrost cheese without melting it. Ugh!

Will we eat this again?
Yes we will. The fajitas were quite tasty and I'm glad I decided to try this one. I should have invited Holly over for dinner to eat some of this, but I didn't (being post-anniversary day I didn't feel like sharing my day with anyone but John.) It turns out that even a 4 pound chicken is too much for two people to eat in one evening. I have plenty of chicken left for another recipe. The flavor is such that I will have to make some enchilada something to use it up.

Now, it's on to deciding what to eat next week… hmmm.

Any suggestions?

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