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Recipe: Fajitas without the packet mix

I would be lying if I said fajitas were a cheap family meal. They are not. Chicken fillets are expensive and I rarely buy them, especially since supermarkets cottoned on to the fact that people are quite happy to eat boneless chicken thighs in place of breast meat and so put the price up. Then there are other costly essentials, like sweet peppers, fresh tomatoes, sour cream, limes, fresh chilli, coriander and ta da: the fajita spice mix/salsa/tortilla bundle that costs around £3. This recipe is not a bargain to make, but it is still quick to prepare and a lot tastier and healthier than a fajita meal made from a packet mix. If you have a decent selection of spices in your cupboard, it should also come in slightly less expensive than it would if you bought pre-prepared salsa and spice rub.

G&P Fajitas (serves 3)

WARNING: These fajitas have a kick! If you have small children, consider making a version without the chilli and black pepper and serving sliced fresh chillies or pickled jalapenos seperately for those who like it hot.

For the spice rub:
1 tsp whole cumin
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
4 allspice berries (or 1/4 tsp ground allspice)
Good grinding of nutmeg
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp smoked paprika

For the fajitas:
3 chicken breast fillets
1 red pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 deseeded and finely chopped red chillies

Guacamole:
1-2 ripe avocados
1 small ripe tomato, deseeded and chopped
1 small garlic clove, grated
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and black pepper
Very finely chopped fresh chilli – optional

Black bean salsa:

3-4 fresh tomatoes, cubed
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves and stalks
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
Drizzle olive oil
Salt and pepper

Extras:
8 flour tortillas
Sour cream
Fresh lime wedges
Fresh chilli/jalapenos

Measure the whole spices into a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Add the paprika and grated nutmeg and stir to combine.

Slice the chicken fillets into strips lengthways then rub all over with the dry spices. You can leave the chicken to marinate in the rub for an hour or two, or you can cook them right away.

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic and chopped chilli and fry for a minute or two more. Add the chicken and fry the whole lot over a medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes. Add the sliced red pepper and continue frying until the chicken is cooked through.

To make the salsa, simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

To make the guacamole, again, simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. I use a fork to mash avocado because I like it to stay quite chunky.

Serve the fajitas straight away with plenty of fresh lime and sour cream.

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About Chloe King

I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.

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