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A grill pan gives the nice, charred effect you want with fajitas, but you can also use a large frying pan or wok. If you use a grill pan, keep the ingredients moving around so that nothing burns or sticks to the bottom. – Jamie Oliver
2 cutting boards
Microwave with microwave-safe dish or small pan
1 red bell pepper
1 medium red onion
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
A small pinch of ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/16 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 x 8-inch flour tortillas
1⁄2 cup plain yogurt
2 ounces Cheddar cheese
For the salsa
1⁄2–1 fresh red chile, to your taste
15 ripe grape or cherry tomatoes, about 1⁄2 cup
a small bunch of fresh cilantro
1/16 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the guacamole
a small handful of cherry tomatoes, about 1⁄4 cup
1⁄2-1 fresh red chile
a few sprigs of fresh cilantro
1⁄2 ripe avocado
1. Put your grill pan on a high heat. Halve and seed your bell pepper and cut it into thin strips. Peel, halve, and finely slice your onion. Slice your chicken lengthways into long strips roughly the same size as your bell pepper strips.
2. Put the bell peppers, onion, and chicken into a bowl with the paprika and cumin. Squeeze over the juice of half a lime, drizzle over a lug of olive oil, season with the salt and pepper and mix well. Put to one side to marinate for 5 minutes or so while you make your salsa.
3. Finely chop your chile. Roughly chop your tomatoes and the cilantro, stalks and all.
4. Put the chile and tomatoes into a second bowl with the salt and pepper and the juice of 1 lime. Then stir in your chopped cilantro.
5. Use a pair of tongs to put all the pieces of bell pepper, onion, and chicken into your preheated pan to cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the chicken is golden and cooked through. As the pan will be really hot, keep turning the pieces of chicken and vegetables over so they don’t burn – you just want them to lightly chargrill to give you a lovely flavor. Give the pan a little love and attention and you’ll be laughing.
6. To make the guacamole squeeze a handful of cherry tomatoes on to a board. Finely chop up the flesh with 1⁄2 -1 red chile and a handful of cilantro leaves, including the top part of the stalks.
7. Halve the avocado, leaving the side with the pit for another use. Then squeeze the one side of the avocado over a board so the flesh comes out of the skin. Discard the skin. Squeeze over the juice of 1 lime and chop everything together until fine. Taste and adjust the flavors if needed.
8. Warm your tortillas up in a microwave or a warm dry frying pan. Divide your warmed tortillas between your serving plates.
9. At the table, carefully help yourselves to the chicken and vegetables straight from the hot grill pan. Just be sure to put it down on top of something that won’t burn, like a chopping board.
10. Halve your remaining lime and squeeze the juices over the sizzling pan. Serve with bowls of plain yogurt and guacamole alongside your Cheddar, a grater, and your lovely fresh salsa.
Jamie’s Top Tips
This is a great meal to prepare ahead, like a stir-fry – the trick is to prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking because once you start things go pretty fast! Make sure your grill pan is nice and hot before you start cooking so that the chicken starts sizzling and grilling as soon as it hits the pan. The trick to sizzling hot, golden brown chicken and veggies is to not overcrowd the pan. If you’re making this for 4, just double the ingredients but cook them in two pans or in batches. You can make the guacamole a little bit ahead of time – to keep it nice and fresh, press a piece of plastic wrap right onto the surface of the guacamole – this will keep it from turning brown.
This is a meal in itself, but you could start off with a nice green salad, if you like.
Tips from the dietitian:
Grilling chicken this way is much better for you than deep frying. Avocados are good for the heart—they have monounsaturated fat which won’t clog your arteries. This recipe is a bit of a splurge – to reduce the fat and sodium leave out the cheese, look for lower sodium flour tortillas or substitute with a corn tortilla and don’t add any additional salt. And, of course, you can also eat a smaller portion!
If you’re preparing raw meat, chicken or fish on a chopping board, wash the board, the knife and your hands thoroughly afterwards so that the bacteria doesn’t spread onto food that is cooked or ready to eat. Some restaurants have different colored chopping boards for raw and cooked foods, or for meat, fish and vegetables, to minimize the chances of this happening. These are readily available from loads of home and kitchen stores so you might like to try this at home.
Adapted from ‘Jamie’s Food Revolution’
Recipe © Jamie Oliver
Photography © David Loftus