Welcome to my kitchen, where I will share with you my recipe for chicken fajitas like Mama Ninfa’s. If you’ve ever been to Houston, Texas, you’ve probably heard of Mama Ninfa’s, a popular restaurant that is famous for its fajitas. My recipe is a relatively quick and easy version of Mama Ninfa’s fajitas, perfect for a good weeknight meal that tastes similar to the restaurant dish.
I believe that my recipe is an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy authentic-tasting fajitas without the hassle of eating out. I have taken the original fajita recipe and adapted it to suit the home cook, making it more accessible and simple to prepare. My chicken fajitas recipe is a Tex-Mex classic that is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a family dinner or a weekend gathering with friends.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the recipe and learn how to make chicken fajitas like Mama Ninfa’s!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you looking for a relatively quick and easy recipe that tastes similar to the popular restaurant dish, Mama Ninfa’s Chicken Fajitas? Look no further! My Chicken Fajitas recipe is just what you need.
What makes this recipe good for a weeknight dinner is that it requires only a few basic ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge, such as boneless, skinless chicken breasts, onions, green bell pepper, and flour tortillas. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover veggies you have in your fridge, like tomatoes or garlic.
But what really sets this recipe apart is the tangy and flavorful marinade. It’s made with a combination of soy sauce, white wine, pineapple juice, and fresh lemon juice and zest. The acidity of the citrus juices helps to tenderize the chicken while adding a bright and zesty flavor. The soy sauce adds a savory and umami depth of flavor, while the white wine adds a subtle sweetness that complements the other ingredients.
Once the chicken is marinated and cooked, it’s served with sautéed onions and green bell peppers, which add a sweet and slightly bitter flavor that balances out the acidity of the marinade. Top it off with a dollop of homemade pico de gallo or your favorite salsa, and you’ve got yourself a delicious and satisfying meal that’s sure to please everyone at the table.
In short, you’ll love this recipe because it’s a quick and easy way to make a restaurant-quality dish at home. It requires minimal prep work and uses basic ingredients, but the marinade and sautéed veggies take it to another level. Plus, it’s versatile and can be customized to your liking, whether you prefer chicken or beef, or want to add more veggies or spices. Give it a try and see for yourself why it’s one of my go-to recipes for busy weeknights!
Before starting with the recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients needed to make these Chicken Fajitas like Mama Ninfas Recipe.
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
- 2 large onions, sliced into thin strips
- 3 green bell peppers, sliced into thin strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup water
For the fajita seasoning:
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Flour tortillas
- Pico de gallo
- Lime wedges
All of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, and many of them are probably already in your pantry. If you’re missing any of the spices, don’t worry! You can always substitute with a pre-made fajita seasoning mix.
The Recipe How-To
Now, let’s get cooking! Follow these simple steps to make Chicken Fajitas like Mama Ninfa’s Recipe right in your own kitchen.
Begin by slicing the chicken breasts into thin strips. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together the minced garlic, soy sauce, white wine, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add the sliced chicken to the mixture and stir to coat. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and bell peppers to the pan and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Remove the onions and peppers from the skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, melt 1/4 cup of butter over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken to the skillet and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the cooked onions and peppers back to the skillet with the chicken. Pour in 1/4 cup of water and season with fresh ground black pepper to taste. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the water has evaporated.
Warm the flour tortillas in the microwave or on a skillet.
Serve the chicken fajita mixture on the warm tortillas with pico de gallo, diced tomatoes, and sliced onions on top.
Enjoy your delicious and authentic Chicken Fajitas like Mama Ninfa’s Recipe right at home!
Substitutions and Variations
Don’t have all the ingredients on hand? No worries, here are some substitutions and variations you can try for your chicken fajitas like Mama Ninfa’s recipe:
– Meat: If you don’t have boneless skinless chicken breasts, you can use skirt steak or beef instead to make steak fajitas or beef fajitas. To make it vegetarian, you can use tofu or portobello mushrooms as a substitute.
– Marinade: You can use any fajita marinade of your choice or make your own. For a more authentic taste, try the original Ninfa’s fajita marinade recipe that combines orange and lime juice, garlic, and soy sauce. You can also add some pineapple juice, lemon juice, or white wine to the marinade for extra flavor.
– Vegetables: While the recipe calls for green bell peppers and onions, you can use any bell pepper color you prefer, such as red or yellow. You can also add other vegetables like sliced mushrooms or zucchini to the mix.
– Tortillas: Flour tortillas are the traditional choice for fajitas, but you can also use corn tortillas or even lettuce leaves for a low-carb option.
– Toppings: Pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream are all classic toppings for chicken fajitas, but you can also try shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, or chopped cilantro. You can also add some hot sauce or salsa for an extra kick.
With these substitutions and variations, you can customize your chicken fajitas like Mama Ninfa’s recipe to your liking and make them your own. Whether you prefer them with chicken, steak, or veggies, with a spicy or mild marinade, or with classic or creative toppings, fajitas are a versatile and delicious meal that you can enjoy any time of the week.
Serving and Pairing
These chicken fajitas like Mama Ninfa’s recipe are best served hot and fresh off the pan. Arrange the sizzling chicken, onions, and bell peppers on a platter and let everyone make their own fajitas by wrapping the filling in warm flour tortillas.
To make your chicken fajitas even more mouth-watering, serve them with some fresh toppings like pico de gallo, chopped tomatoes, and sliced onions. You can also add some sour cream or guacamole to your fajitas for a creamy and tangy flavor.
For a complete meal, pair your chicken fajitas with some Spanish rice and refried beans. The rice and beans will balance out the flavors and textures of the fajitas and provide a satisfying and filling meal. You can also add some fresh greens like lettuce or cilantro to your plate for some added freshness.
If you’re looking for a refreshing drink to go with your fajitas, try a margarita or a cold Mexican beer. The citrusy and tangy flavors of the margarita will complement the fajitas perfectly, while the crisp and light taste of the beer will cut through the richness of the dish.
Overall, these chicken fajitas like Mama Ninfa’s recipe are a crowd-pleaser and a perfect dish to serve for a casual weeknight dinner or a weekend gathering with friends and family. Enjoy the flavors of Houston’s Tex-Mex cuisine in the comfort of your own home with this delicious and easy recipe.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
These chicken fajitas can be easily made ahead of time and reheated for a quick and easy meal. To make-ahead, prepare the chicken and vegetables as directed in the recipe, then store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, simply reheat the chicken and vegetables in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.
To store any leftover chicken fajitas, place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, simply microwave or reheat in a skillet until warmed through.
I recommend reheating the fajitas in a skillet over medium heat to keep the vegetables and chicken from becoming soggy. This will help to maintain their texture and flavor.
If you plan to reheat the fajitas in the microwave, be sure to cover them with a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out.
Keep in mind that the longer the fajitas are stored, the more their texture and flavor may change. For best results, try to consume them within a few days of preparing.
Tips for Perfect Results
To ensure that your chicken fajitas turn out perfectly, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:
Firstly, make sure to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to permeate the meat. If you have the time, marinate it overnight for even better results.
Secondly, when cooking the chicken, don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook in batches if necessary to ensure that each piece of chicken is cooked evenly.
Next, when you’re cooking the onions and peppers, make sure to give them enough space in the pan. If they’re overcrowded, they’ll steam rather than brown, and you won’t get that delicious caramelization.
To get that authentic Tex-Mex flavor, use a fajita seasoning mix or make your own using a combination of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika. You can also add a squeeze of lime juice for some acidity and freshness.
If you’re using flour tortillas, try warming them up in a dry skillet or on a griddle for a few seconds on each side. This will make them more pliable and help prevent them from tearing when you roll them up.
Finally, when it comes to toppings, don’t be afraid to get creative. While traditional toppings like pico de gallo and guacamole are always delicious, you can also try adding things like shredded cheese, sour cream, or even pineapple salsa for a fun twist.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making chicken fajitas that taste just like Mama Ninfa’s original recipe.
Now that you know how to make these delicious Chicken Fajitas like Mama Ninfa’s recipe, I bet you have some questions. In this section, I will answer some frequently asked questions to help you make the most out of this recipe. So, let’s get started!
What’s the best way to tenderize fajitas?
When dealing with beef, it’s important to slice it against the grain to make it more tender. You can easily identify the direction of the grain by examining the meat closely. Additionally, marinading meat with acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice can make it even more tender by breaking down its fibers.
What is fajita marinade made of?
Are you wondering how to make a delicious chicken fajita marinade? Look no further! All you need to do is mix together some olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and onion powder. This combination of ingredients creates a flavorful and easy-to-make marinade that will take your chicken fajitas to the next level.
What was in the original fajitas?
In Tex-Mex cooking, a popular dish known as fajitas typically consists of grilled meat that has been sliced into strips, along with strips of peppers and onions, all served on a tortilla made from either flour or corn. The dish originally used skirt steak, which is a specific cut of beef.
What onion is best for chicken fajitas?
When it comes to making fajitas, any type of onion will do the job perfectly. You can choose between white, yellow, or red onions depending on your personal preference. However, I tend to opt for red onions since they add a hint of sweetness to the dish and their vibrant color makes the fajitas look even more appetizing.
In conclusion, this chicken fajitas recipe like Mama Ninfa’s is a must-try for anyone who loves Tex-Mex cuisine. It’s a relatively quick and easy recipe that is perfect for a good weeknight taste similar to Ninfa’s popular restaurant dish. With the right ingredients and steps, you can recreate the original fajitas that made Mama Ninfa’s restaurant famous in Houston, Texas.
The combination of onions, green bell peppers, tomatoes, and pico de gallo with the seasonings of soy sauce, garlic, and fresh ground black pepper creates a flavorful dish that will leave you wanting more. Moreover, the use of pineapple juice and lemon juice adds a tangy twist that makes these fajitas authentic and unique.
Whether you’re a chicken or beef lover, this recipe can easily be adapted to your preference. Additionally, you can pair it with flour tortillas or serve it with rice and beans. The possibilities are endless!
In summary, if you’re looking for a restaurant-style dish that you can make at home, give this recipe a try. It’s relatively quick, easy, and will transport you straight to Mama Ninfa’s. So why not add some Tex-Mex flair to your next dinner and make these delicious chicken fajitas like Mama Ninfa’s?
Chicken Fajitas like Mama Ninfas Recipe
- 2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons white wine
- 6 tablespoons butter (I’ve omitted this ingredient with success when watching calories)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 20 flour tortillas (the fresher, the better)
- sauteed onions or marinated onion (see recipe below)
- pico de gallo
- tomatoes, slices
- green bell pepper, rings
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 dried arbol chiles, crushed or 2 fresh jalapenos, chopped
- 2 large onions, sliced into thin rings
- Prepare the grill (indoor or out) or the broiler.
- Pound the chicken breasts to 3/4 inch thickness, and set aside.
- Heat a heavy skillet over high heat for 3- 4 minutes.
- Pour the wine into the skillet, and boil it for 1- 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Stir in soy sauce, garlic, and pepper, and cook until they are just combined, about 1 minute.
- Add butter and stir until just melted.
- Remove skillet from heat.
- Dip the chicken breasts into the sauce, and turn them to coat thoroughly.
- Place breasts 3- 4″ from heat source, or on in-door grill.
- Cook a few minutes until done to your taste.
- Remove from the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- Slice the breasts into slim finger length strips.
- To assemble the fajitas, pile a platter high with the chicken strips, and accompany the platter with tortillas, onion, pico de gallo, guacamole, tomatoes and bell pepper rings.
- Let everyone help themselves.
- For each serving, fill a tortilla with some of the chicken and portions of the garnishes.
- Marinated onions: Reduce the stock to 1 cup in a small sauce pan.
- Add soy sauce and chiles; stir.
- Place onions in a medium bowl and pour the marinade over them.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for several hours or overnight.
- Present the onions cold as a garnish, or heat them in the top of a double boiler and serve warm.
- They’ll keep at least 10 days.
YOUR OWN NOTES
Lucy is a mom who loves to cook up a storm. She enjoys discovering, collecting, and experimenting with delicious, healthy recipes for her blog. With her passion for cooking, Lucy is always coming up with her own unique creations to share with the world.