Thursday, December 26, 2013

Chicken Fajita Sandwiches

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!! We spent the weekend in Delaware with KK’s family.  It’s so exciting to see our twin niece and nephew growing bigger and bigger every time we see them! KK’s parents came too, so we had an early Christmas with the whole family.  It was a balmy 65 degrees on Saturday, so we took the twins outside for a bit to enjoy the weather!  Since they aren’t old enough to open gifts, KK and I had to help them out.  We got them some developmental toys and some of my favorite childhood books – The Polar Express (a seasonal favorite), The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book, and Goodnight Moon.  I can’t wait to read with the twins as they grow older!

After our stopover in Delaware, KK and I continued down to my dad’s house in VA.  We did some last minute shopping, visiting with old friends, and a lot of cooking! We spent Christmas Eve with our family friends who live just 15 minutes away from my dad’s house.  It wouldn’t be Christmas without taking the obligatory “kids picture” next to the fireplace.  KK, being the newest “kid” in the group, enjoys looking at the collection of these annual photos displayed at their house; it’s fun to see how we’ve changed over the years! We had quite the spread of food this year – veggie platter, fancy cheeses, and artichoke dip to start with; salad with goat cheese and mustard dressing, sherry chicken, and homemade mashed potatoes for dinner; and Rice Krispie wreathes, lemon bars (a family recipe not to be shared online - sorry!), and Guinness Carbomb Cupcakes for dessert.  My dad selected a few different red wines for dinner, and saved a special bottle of V. Sattui 1998 Vintage Port to have with dessert.  Everything was delicious and we all left thinking we’d never eat again!

True to our word, we skipped the big Christmas morning breakfast because we were too full from the previous night.  After opening stockings and presents, we played with our new electronics (Boom Urchin for KK, Microsoft Surface for my dad, and Canon PowerShot for me) for awhile.  After venturing out to see Gravity, we were finally ready for a proper meal.  Taking advantage of my dad’s grill, KK decided we’d have grilled chicken for Christmas dinner – Chicken Fajita Sandwiches to be exact.  Since the original recipe was for 2, we doubled the chicken, veggies, and marinade ingredients (already represented below).  The marinade was incredibly flavorful; I could taste the Corona, and the blend of spices worked very well together.  If you don't have Corona, I suggest using another light-yet-flavorful beer like Heineken or one of the Abita brews.  Make sure you seal the vegetable foil packet well; you don't want to loose any of the juices and steam that are brewing together to cook the vegetables.  We used sesame kaiser rolls, and served the sandwiches with Harris Teeter Sweet Potato Crinkle Cut Fries (coated with several dashes of Cajun seasoning before they baked) and leftover salad from Christmas Eve.  It was another filling meal, but we still had room for breakfast pancakes this morning!

Chicken Fajita Sandwiches
Adapted from Nibble Me This
Time: 30 minutes + marination time (2-4 hours)
Serves: 4

Marinade Ingredients
1 cup Corona
½ cup canola oil
½ cup lime juice
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp red pepper flakes

Other Ingredients
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1.5 lb. boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
2-4 slices Pepper Jack cheese
4 kaiser rolls
Chipotle mayo or mustard, for serving

1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl, preferable one with a spout.  Place sliced vegetables in a gallon Ziploc bag, and pour ⅔ cup marinade over the vegetables.  Place chicken in a separate Ziploc bag, and coat with remaining marinade.  Squish bags to coat vegetables and chicken thoroughly; refrigerate 2-4 hours.

2. Preheat grill to 400.

3. Drain excess marinade from the vegetables.  Place vegetables on a 12" x 24" piece of aluminum foil.  Fold foil over to make a packet surrounding the vegetables.  Grill until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes per side.

4. Remove chicken from marinade and grill 4 minutes on one side.  Flip and top each piece with some the cooked vegetables; cook an additional 3 minutes.

5. Top each piece of chicken with cheese, close grill, and cook for an additional minute until cheese melts. At the same time, toast kaiser rolls.  Assemble chicken sandwiches immediately, topping with additional vegetables; if desired, spread kaiser rolls with chipotle mayo or mustard.

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