8 servings


The popularity of beef fajitas has encouraged many variations, including chicken. This spectacular chicken dish may be served as an appetizer course for an elegant dinner party or as an entree for casual entertaining.


Three tomato salsa or

tomato and green chili relish

Guacamole or avocado relish



1 cup safflower oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/3 cup lime juice

Freshly cracked black pepper

3 serrano chilies, halved

2 cloves garlic, minced


4 chicken breasts, boned and split, with skin

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons oil

24 flour tortillas, preferably homemade or 8 pita breads, quartered

1 head Bibb lettuce, rinsed and dried

8 sprigs fresh cilantro, with long stems, for garnish

1 lime, cut in half


       Prepare relish accompaniments and guacamole and refrigerate for up to 2 hours, Combine the marinade ingredients in a shallow glass dish. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, turn over, and let marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, no longer.


       Remove chicken breasts from the marinade; reserve the marinade. Heat the butter and oil in a large sauté pan or skillet. Add the chicken breasts and sauté 3 minutes per side, until medium rare. The center portion should be slightly pink. Remove the chicken from the pan and cut away the skin. Cut chicken into strips approximately 1/2 inch wide.


       Preheat the oven to 400° F. Warm the tortillas or pita breads in the oven.


       Put two small lettuce leaves on the edge of each plate. Fill each with a spoonful of salsa or guacamole. Remove tortillas or pita from oven and divide among the plates. Garnish each plate with a long-stemmed sprig of cilantro.


       Heat a lightly oiled griddle on the stove over high heat. Combine melted butter with 2 tablespoons of the marinade. Place the chicken strips on the hot griddle, turn once, then pour the butter marinade over them. Bring the griddle sizzling to the table and squeeze the lime juice over the chicken. Advise your guests to use the tortillas or pita bread to enclose the chicken and some salsa or guacamole.



       The chicken breasts may be grilled instead of sautéed if more convenient. For more flavor, brush them with chili-cilantro basting pesto while grilling. Cook 3 minutes on each side.