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
Chicken Breast Strips
Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry all produce. Halve, peel, and thinly slice onion. Core, deseed, and thinly slice bell pepper. Slice jalapeño into thin rounds, removing ribs and seeds for less heat. Zest half the lime (whole lime for 4 servings); cut into wedges.
In a small bowl, combine jalapeño and juice from 2 lime wedges (4 wedges for 4 servings). Set aside to quick-pickle. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over mediumhigh heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and half the Southwest Spice. Cook, stirring, until softened and lightly charred, 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan; set aside.
Meanwhile, in a second small bowl, combine sour cream, a squeeze or two of lime juice, and lime zest to taste. Stir in water 1 tsp at a time until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Place chicken in a medium bowl; pat dry with paper towels then season with salt and pepper. Heat a large drizzle of oil in pan used for veggies over medium-high heat. Add chicken in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Stir in veggies and remaining Southwest Spice. Continue cooking until chicken is browned and cooked through, 2-3 minutes more.
Meanwhile, place tortillas on a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle evenly with cheddar. (For 4 servings, divide tortillas between 2 baking sheets.) Bake until cheese has melted, 1-2 minutes. TIP: Don’t let these sit in the oven too long. The tortillas should be soft, not crisp.
Divide chicken mixture between tortillas. Drizzle with crema and top with pickled jalapeño to taste. Serve with any remaining lime wedges on the side.