When we first arrived in Singapore, I was able to catch up with an old friend that I met at my first ever full time job. I made smoothies, it wasn’t exactly a leap into the corporate world. Anyway, after all these years, The Lovely L now lives and works in Singapore too and is the same bubbly, gorgeous girl that I remember from our smoothie days. We continue to see The Lovely L often and I can’t thank her enough for providing Key and I with a friendly support group of expats and also for continually being the ‘Queen Organiser’ of events such as weekly trivia sessions at an Aussie Pub and cooking classes.
We’d only been here a few weeks and The Lovely L invited me to my first ever cooking class. The class was held at Palate Sensations and we were making fajitas, paella and sangria. This recipe is based on the fajitas we made that night.
I was super keen to go along to the class to meet some new people and of course to eat some yummy food, but I must admit, I didn’t realise how much I’d also learn. Charlotte, the executive chef who ran our class, is so knowledgeable and clearly so passionate about food. She is incredibly easy going and let us do our own thing, while providing advice and tips where needed.
As a result of her wise advice and tips, I now have a tasty new marinade for my chicken fajitas, I use a different cut of chicken and a different cooking method and I cook my onions and capsicums differently.
I met some lovely people at the first cooking class and a lot of us have since attending another class. This time we made tacos and mojitos. I was so excited when I walked in and saw that they had tortilla presses. The people that were there can attest to my embarrassingly high excitement level. The corn tortilla dough had already been made, but we had a great time flattening the pre-made dough balls in the presses and then cooking them over a dry, high heat. Key and I have been looking for a tortilla press for ages. Turns out theirs were from America. Damn, I need me a tortilla press!
I’m still adapting Charlotte’s taco recipes to something I can call my own and when I do, I’ll be sure to post it here for you. For now, here is my version of the fajitas that we made.
I like to grate garlic with my microplane as it’s much easier then chopping. Feel free just to chop it finely though.
I rarely use chicken breast in this manner as chicken thigh is much more forgiving, but this marinade really tenderises the breast and so long as you don’t cook it for ages, it’s pretty hard to make dry.
After an hour, you can see how much the lemon juice has started to cook the chicken. This is what makes it so tender, but be careful, don’t let it marinade any longer then an hour or it could start to break down too much.
I could only get really small capsicums so I used a few cheeks of different colours :)
Cooking the onions and capsicums low and slow like this brings out such a sweetness in them. I normally avoid green capsicum as it can give me indigestion if it’s even close to raw, but this way makes the best of them. Of course, choose any colour of capsicum that you wish though.
The best way to cook the chicken for this is in a griddle pan in my opinion, but you can use a frying pan too. Probably not a non-stick one though, you want some colour on that chicken.
I really like washing up by hand, so I always use heaps of different bowls and serve things like this *ha* no, I purely did this for you :)
Ingredients – Makes approximately 4 fajitas
- 2 skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
- 1 large capsicum, cut off into strips and all seeds and ribs removed
- 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into thick slices
For the marinade
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp hot cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground turmeric powder
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
- Flour tortillas
- Sour cream
- Grated cheese
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Combine marinade ingredients in a non metallic bowl. Add the chicken strips and a pinch of salt, then cover and refrigerate for an hour.
- Once you are ready to start cooking the capsicum, remove the chicken from the fridge to let it start to come to room temperature.
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a fry pan over medium to low heat. Add the onion and the capsicum to the pan with a pinch of salt and slowly cook for around 25 minutes or until the vegetables are really soft and sweet. If the onion is colouring too much, reduce the heat. Stir occasionally to stop it catching and add a little bit more olive oil if it’s catching too much.
- Once the capsicum mix has been cooking for around 10 minutes, heat a griddle pan or another fry pan over high heat.
- Brush off any excess marinade on the chicken, then cook the strips in batches until cooked through. It will take around 3 minutes either side depending on how thick the strips are. Test one by cutting in half if you are not sure. Be careful not to overcook.
- To serve, layer the chicken and capsicum mix on a tortilla and garnish with the lettuce a dollop of sour cream and cheese.