Friday, August 4, 2017

Pan-Fried and Shredded Chicken Fajitas with Candied Carrots

Another easy meal for a hot summer day!  I like pairing the spicy fajitas with the slightly sweet carrots.  It makes a nice complimentary contrast!

This dish comes together in a snap if you have pan-fried and shredded the chicken ahead of time.  I like to make a double batch of the shredded chicken and use one for dinner that night and then freeze the rest for a quick meal later. 



(Okay, you'll just have to get used to the fact that my pictures of food will not be the best.  I'm too busy cooking and serving it to a family of 6 to care about the pictures.  I'd much rather be taking pictures of flowers anyway.)


Pan-fried Chicken:
Simply heat a little oil in a large pan on the stove on medium.  And when it’s hot enough, add some boneless chicken breasts that have been sprinkled with salt and pepper on both sides.  Let one side cook until browned, flip and cook until it’s done all the way through and brown on the second side.  Near the end, sprinkle with a little onion powder and garlic powder.  Cool a bit and shred into large pieces.  Use it that night or put it into freezer bags, wrap in foil, label, and freeze for later use.  You could use this meat in so many ways.  Be creative!    

If you are using frozen, cooked meat for your fajitas, thaw it earlier in the day first.  And then while you prepare the veggies, I would reheat the chicken lightly (covered in a dish at 325 degrees for a half hour with a little bit of water added to keep it moist) before adding to the veggies that you pan-fry.  (You could just add the cold, thawed chicken with the veggies and reheat it right in the pan, but I do it ahead of time so that I don’t over-cook the veggies while waiting for the chicken to heat up.)


Pan-frying the Veggies:
While the chicken reheats in the oven, cook your veggies.  Heat a little oil in a pan on the stove over medium. 

Add sliced onions and sliced peppers (red or orange or yellow, not green because they are unripe and yucky).  Stir occasionally until the onions are translucent and slightly browning.  Ideally, the peppers would have a little browning going on, too.  It adds a nice flavor. 

At the last minute, add sliced garlic (large slices) to the pan and cook for a minute or two more, until translucent but not brown.  (Brown garlic is bitter and leaves a bad aftertaste.) 

When the veggies are done, add your reheated, shredded chicken and toss lightly until warmed all the way through. 

Then sprinkle it all with a little salt and pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, (a bit of dried oregano, optional), and chili powder and ground cumin.  Just a light sprinkle all over.  (Come on, you can do this without exact measurements.  Have some faith in yourself!  Just start with less because you could always add more.)  Give it a stir and then serve it on warmed flour tortillas with salsa and sour cream!  Yum!

(It would look more appetizing if I used red peppers. 
The yellow ones look like long, fat slugs.
Oooh, new name ... "Fat Slug Fajitas"! 
Yeah, let's call it that.  Too funny!)

If you want to serve this with Candied Carrots

            While the meat is reheating and before you slice up the onions and peppers, add a bunch of baby carrots (sliced in half lengthwise) to a pan with a little bit of water covering the bottom.  Cover it and turn it on medium or med-low.  Stir or shake the pan occasionally, and let them cook until the carrots are cooked through but not mushy, maybe about 10-15 minutes.  When they are the texture you want, drain the water.  Then add a pat of butter and a few spoonfuls (or squirts) of honey to the pan (or maybe you prefer sugar).  Let this heat gently on med-low for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the honey (or sugar) cooks down a bit and coats the carrots in a sticky glaze.  You only want low bubbling here.  You don’t want to burn your glaze.  When it’s done, just turn off the heat and let it sit while you finish pan-frying the veggies.               

(I kept eating these right out of the pan. 
I love them warm and fresh.)

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