FAJITA NIGHT……Just Safeway and Me!

If you saw my Instagram (askmehowiknowcb) I’ll remind you that I do 60 second videos and I did one today about this recipe.  The Chicken, the veggies and the method are pretty standard.  (Super hot skillet, preferably cast iron but not mandatory, peppers, onions, oil, garlic, and your choice of beef, chicken, fish or shrimp.)  But in this post,  let’s talk about marinades (and then I will list the ingredients).

the marinade and the chicken cut up  thighs


As I said in my video, I got this from an old friends Ali and Julie.  I sold them a house about 20 years ago when I was a Realtor, and by far Ali’s main desire was a Patio with a grill.  Ali is Venezuelan, and we had many ‘Food Talks’.   I had never thought of putting orange juice and Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing together.  And adding oil, garlic, spices adds a great combination for a super marinade.  So here’s my take on that original recipe.  Over the years I’ve changed it many times.  But it always starts with those two main ingredients.


1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian dressing (powder form)

1 cup Orange juice

1 Tsp crushed garlic (or garlic powder)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp each:  crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, Sazon or other Mexican seasoned salts

NOTE about marinades.  Be careful adding salt because a lot of Mexican seasonings contain salt.  It can also tend to take some of the moisture out of the meat.
while we’re on the subject, look in the table of contents of this blog for Alma’s salsa.  It’s easy, anyone can do it in a blender, and everybody loves it!

mix all the above ingredients together and pour 1/2 of it into a zip lock baggie and put the meat inside.  Seal, refrigerate, and turn it over every so often.  This can go anywhere from 1/2 hour to 8 hours.  I’m not too fond of 24 hours, as the meat may tend to break down which produces a mushy texture.  4 hours would be ideal.

Now, let me take you to my pantry and give you another idea for your chicken.  If you don’t want to marinate the meat (and why wouldn’t you?), you may want to “rub’ it with a dry rub.  This is fun, but it does take a little bit of knowledge about flavors.  Some things don’t go well together, and again, be sure to watch the salt content.  Here is a rub I put together  recently:  One Teaspoon of each:  dry or chopped garlic, oregano,  black pepper, adobo or Sazon seasoning, dry Italian seasoning, cumin, Mrs. Dash chili lime, smoked paprika, sugar*, crushed red pepper flakes, parsley.    *I always like some white or brown sugar in my marinades.


NOW CONTINUE WITH YOUR COOKING:  Get a cast iron skillet or an electric grill SUPER hot. Add vegetable oil. (olive not necessary for this.  In fact, it’s a sin).   Hit the skillet with the chicken AND the marinade. Toss it a lot for about 5 minutes.   You want to be sure the marinade is fully cooked.  After the chicken is done, you can remove it from the pan and add the veggies to the cooked marinade, adding a little more oil.   Toss till they are the way you like.  Some people like them barely cooked and still crisp.  We do about five minutes.  Add the chicken back in, toss together and serve!  I love to add salsa, crema and serve them with rice.  May Bueno!!!



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