While I haven't had much of an opportunity to make show-stoppingly pretty foods this semester, I did experiment on one recipe. I had been craving fajitas, but of course it takes some work to devise a grain-free fajita method. As you might have noticed I have been trying to stick with the Paleo/Primal way of eating (not as easy during this semester, where sometimes I get stuck working on campus and don't have access to my usual foods). So to completely eliminate the tortilla situation, I used the chicken itself as a wrap, stuffed with vegetables prepared in the fajita-style and smothered with tomato salsa. It really satisfied my craving and was a real treat for the eyes. This would be great for a dinner party because it's a festive recipe but won't require your guests to messily put together their own fajitas. Another plus, beating the chicken breasts out to thin pieces was a great stress reliever :)
Vegetable Fajita-Stuffed Chicken
1 tsp olive oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup + 2 tbsp tomato salsa, divided
1 1/2 tsp paprika, divided
1 1/2 tsp chili powder, divided
1 tsp ground cumin, divided
1 tsp ground coriander, divided
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 lb chicken breast, cut into fillets (about 4-6 fillets depending on the size of the chicken breasts)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onion. Season with salt and pepper and a half teaspoon each of the paprika, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Stir-fry until tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons of salsa and cilantro and set aside.
3. Stir together the remaining spices and some salt and pepper to make a spice rub and set aside.
4. Place each chicken breast fillet on top of a piece of plastic wrap and cover with another piece of plastic wrap. With the smooth side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy frying pan, flatten the meat until it's less than 1/2" thick. Repeat with all chicken pieces, then lightly season all sides with the spice rub.
5. With the widest end of the chicken facing away from you, place a thin layer of vegetables on top of the chicken breast. Leave about 3/4" inch uncovered on the edge that is away from you. Roll the chicken breast up. Seal each chicken breast with either butcher's twine or toothpicks.
6. Lightly grease a non-reactive baking dish large enough to accommodate the chicken. Pour about 1/3 of the remaining salsa in the bottom, then place the chicken breasts in seam-side down. Pour over the remaining salsa and distribute any leftover vegetables on top.
7. Bake the chicken for 40-50 minutes or until the juices run clear. Allow the chicken to rest 5 minutes before removing from pan and cutting into 1" slices and arranging on a platter. Pour the salsa pan juices on top and serve.
- Servings per recipe: 4
- Per serving:
- Calories: 167.6
- Fat: 2.4 g
- Saturated fat: 0.3 g
- Cholesterol: 55 mg
- Sodium: 559.1 mg
- Carbohydrate: 12.7 g
- Fiber: 3.9 g
- Sugars: 0.2 g
- Protein: 25.2 g