Because I kind of thought our Wednesday could use a little spicing up.
You know, to get us through the Wednesday hump.
I think I have talked about this before, but you guys, what the heck is the difference between a taco and a fajita??
I really just do not get it. I know fajitas are supposed to be done on the grill, but there are plenty of fajita recipes made on the stove and plenty of taco recipes made on the grill. It’s all a bunch of craziness if you ask me.
They both can be served in flour or corn tortillas, they both are filled with meat (or maybe veggie/bean filling) and they both get topped with cheese and hopefully some kind of salsa.
SO, here is how I differentiate my tacos from my fajitas.
I stuff my fajitas with rice and top um with peppers. I top my tacos with salsa or pico de gallo, rarely do I add rice. So really, my fajitas have lots of peppers on top and my tacos don’t….normally. I am not saying they never will because you just never know what I might want to add to my taco toppings. I am typically a fruity salsa kind of girl, but peppers are good too.
Anyway, I guess the biggest difference is rice. Most of my tacos TYPICALLY do not get loaded with rice, BUT I wouldn’t want to close myself in and say never. So there you have it, Tieghan’s interpretation on the difference between a taco and a fajita. Aren’t you glad you tuned in today!
So let’s just talk about that rice for a second. For one, this whole recipe was a, last-minute, let’s clean out the fridge and yet still come up with something great kind of deal. I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go, or even turn out, but I went with.
I made this simple by tossing some chicken in with the last of my homemade taco seasoning. Then I tossed peppers and corn with a little olive oil and placed everything on the grill. While the chicken, peppers and corn where grilling I looked back in the fridge and thought “ok, I need some sauce for these”. So I did what I do and I pulled a few things out and started adding a little of this and a little of that to a bowl.
Ahh right, I am not that good. I used this recipe for the special sauce, but added cream cheese to the mix, which to me is what makes this super special… and super addicting. Oh, and I also added a little chipotle pepper in adobo because you can never go wrong adding a little smoky, spice to the mix.
By then the chicken, peppers and corn were done, so I grabbed them from the grill.
I had some time to kill while everything was cooling off, so that’s when I thought “oh, I need rice, duh”. Luckily, I of course had leftover rice already in the fridge. I then added it to a skillet with some enchilada sauce, beans and cheese and melted it all together.
Best ever, quick cooking, cheesy Mexican rice. Also, the perfect filler for fajitas – so cheesy and delish.
Then I assembled. Loading up on the rice, adding some chicken, piling the veggies high and generously drizzling on some special sauce + cotija cheese.
Pretty sure these are gonna help you get through the Wednesday hump, right?
Easy Chicken Fajitas with Cheesy Enchilada Rice + Tex-Mex Special Sauce.
Serving Size: 4-6
- Cheesy Enchilada Rice
- 3 cups leftover cooked white or brown rice*
- 1 cup enchilada sauce
- 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt (0% fat or full fat - both work) or heavy cream
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese + more to your liking
- 2 cups (1 can drained + rinsed) cooked black beans
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 red + orange bell pepper, sliced
- 2 ears corn, husk removed
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 8 small flour tortillas, warmed (use gluten free if needed)
- 1 avocado, chopped
- cotija cheese, for serving
- Tex-Mex Special Sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 ounces melted cream cheese or Mexican crema
- 1 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 a lime, juiced
To make the Tex-Mex Special Sauce, add the ketchup and cream cheese to a bowl. Whisk until smooth and then add the brown sugar, chipotle peppers, cilantro and lime juice. Season with a pinch of salt. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Heat a grill, grill pan or cast iron skillet to high heat. Add the chicken to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the taco seasoning. Place the peppers and corn on a plate and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil (if you are using a skillet, slice the peppers into thin strips and remove the kernels of corn from the cob).
Add the chicken and veggies to the hot grill, grill for 5-8 minutes. Flip the chicken and turn the veggies, grill for another 5-8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked though. Make sure to check the veggies and flip a few extra times to ensure even cooking. You want them to be soft and have nice grill marks. If the corn is getting burnt wrap them in a sheet of tin foil. Remove everything from the grill and allow the veggies and chicken to cool five minutes (if you are using a skillet just saute the chicken and veggies separately until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are soft).
Meanwhile make the rice*. Add the rice to a large skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toast the rice for 5 minutes, stirring often to ensure even browning. Add the enchilada sauce, greek yogurt or heavy creamy and cheddar cheese. Bring the mixture to a low boil and cook, stirring until the cheese is melted and the rice is creamy, about 5 minutes. If desired add more cheese until it is cheesy enough for you! Stir in the black beans, cilantro and green onions. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Once the chicken and veggies are cool enough to touch, slice the peppers and use a sharp knife to remove the corn kernels from the cob. Add the veggies to a bowl and toss with the cilantro and lime juice. Slice the chicken into strips.
To assemble add the cheesy rice to the center of a warm tortilla. Add the chicken and peppers. Garnish with fresh cilantro, diced avocado and cotjia cheese. Drizzle with the Tex-Mex Special Sauce.
*Here is how I make rice. Add the 3 cups water to a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil and then add the 1 1/2 cups jasmine or basmati rice. Stir to combine and then place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook ten minutes on low and then turn the heat off completely and let the rice sit on the stove, covered, for another 20 minutes (don’t take any peeks inside!). After 20 minutes remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Note that rice can cook differently for everyone, this is just what works for me.
I mean, if these don’t help, than I’m sorry to say, you may just have to remain miserable until Friday.