Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas are a very popular Southern Californian – rather than Mexican-dish and are made from wheat-flour tortillas stuffed with a spicy filling, usually strips of chicken sautéed with red peppers, onion, a little hot chilli, coriander and garlic. The filling can also contain beans, salsa and sour cream. The tortillas are easy to make and the dough can be made the day before and kept, cling-wrapped, in the fridge.


For the Tortillas

  • 450 g/ 1 lb strong white bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3 tbsp lard
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 300 ml/ ½ pint warm water

For the Filling

  • 2 red peppers, cut into strips, discarding the seeds and pith
  • 1 habanero chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into thin strips
  • coriander leaves

To Serve


First make the tortillas: put the flour, lard, oil and salt into a food processor and whiz to combine. Continue to process, pouring the warm water through the feeder tube in a thin stream until the dough balls. This may not take all the water or it may take a little more. Process until you have a smooth elastic dough. Turn out on a floured surface and divide into 12 pieces. Roll these into balls, put them on a plate, cling-wrap and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Heat a heavy frying pan over a moderate heat, but don’t oil it. On a floured surface, roll out a ball of dough, rotating, rolling and turning until you have a 17.5-cm / 7-inch circle. Dust with flour if it sticks. Place the tortillas one at a time on the hot metal. The top will start to bubble with hot air. Turn when the underside blisters. Cook for another 30 seconds, remove and wrap in a cloth to keep warm and moist. Do not overcook or the tortilla will go crisp.

Make the filling: sweat the peppers, chilli and onions over a low heat in the sunflower oil for 5 minutes, or until soft. While they are softening, put the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, salt and pepper into a dry heavy iron pan over a very low heat and toast them for 2–3 minutes, stirring. Grind to a powder. Sprinkle the frying vegetables with this, then turn up the heat and add the chicken to the pan, tossing and turning to cook. This takes very little time, no more than 3 or 4 minutes.

Scatter over coriander leaves over before bringing to the table. Serve with the tortillas, guacamole, sour cream, refried beans and a tomato and red onion salad.