Fajitas are like a good friend—the one who never seems to change or age. Their combination of seared strips of meat, lightly charred veggies, and Tex-Mex-style toppings inside a soft tortilla is as reliable as can be. And they’ll always be there when you don’t know what to do (about dinner, that is). Our chicken version is just as familiar and comforting as you’d expect, although we couldn’t help throwing in some fiery pickled jalapeño to keep things interesting.
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Southwest Spice Blend
Wash and dry all produce. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Core and seed bell pepper, then thinly slice. Halve, peel, and thinly slice onion. Slice jalapeño into thin rounds and place in a small bowl (remove ribs and seeds for less heat). Zest ½ tsp zest from lime, then cut in half. Cut one half into wedges.
Squeeze juice from lime half into bowl with jalapeño and toss to coat. Set aside. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and 1 tsp Southwest spice (we’ll use more in step 4). Cook, tossing, until softened and lightly charred, 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.
Mix together sour cream, lime zest, and a squeeze of lime juice in another small bowl. Stir in 1 TBSP water. (TIP: Add up to 1 TBSP more water to give crema a drizzly consistency.) Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a large drizzle of oil in pan used for veggies over medium-high heat. Slice chicken into thin strips. Season with salt and pepper. Add to pan in a single layer and cook, tossing occasionally, until just browned on surface, 2-4 minutes. Toss in veggies and another 1 tsp Southwest spice (you’ll have a little left over). Continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink in center, 2-3 minutes more.
Meanwhile, place tortillas on a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle evenly with cheddar. Bake in oven until cheese is just melted, 1-2 minutes. TIP: Don’t let these sit in the oven too long. The tortillas should be soft, not crisp.
Divide chicken and veggies between tortillas. Dollop with crema and scatter jalapeño over (to taste). Serve any remaining lime wedges on the side for squeezing over.