How to Make Chili's Mushroom Jack Chicken Fajitas

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Start to Finish: 45 minutes, plus caramelization and marination time

Servings: 4

Difficulty: Beginner

The basic ingredients of the dish -- spicy chicken, pan-fried mushrooms, caramelized onions, green peppers and Monterey Jack cheese -- rely on the right blend of chipotle, garlic and butter to give the dish its distinctive taste. Make Chili’s mushroom jack chicken fajitas at home for a filling and satisfying meal. This recipe adapts versions from Natasha's Kitchen, Canadian Living and Betty Crocker.

Ingredients

Caramelized Onions

  • 6 medium yellow or white onions
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock

Chipotle Garlic Butter

  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup of butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1/4 cup canned chipotle peppers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Fajitas

  • 2 pounds chicken breast, boneless and skinless
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups green peppers
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced green onion

To Serve

  • 1/4 cup canned jalapeños, sliced
  • 1/4 cup guacamole
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 12 flour or corn tortillas

Directions

Caramelize the Onions

Slice the onions into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices, and separate them into individual rings. Heat a shallow pan on medium heat.

Add the butter to the pan, cooking until it melts. Scatter the sliced onions over the butter, drizzle them with the oil and cook them slowly, until they turn translucent, about 10 minutes.

Stir the onions in the pan, lower the heat to medium-low, add the sugar and vinegar, and toss and stir to mix well.

Pour in the broth after 10 minutes of cooking. Scrape up any caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan and stir regularly to prevent the onions from burning.

Remove the onions from the stove after roughly 10 to 15 minutes more of cooking. They will be well-browned and very soft.

Make the Butter

In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and minced garlic over medium heat until the butter fully melts. Heat until the garlic turns fragrant and starts to brown, about 10 minutes.

Remove the butter from the heat and place it in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill. Combine the softened butter, garlic butter, chipotle and salt in a small bowl.

Mash together all of the ingredients with a fork. Season the mixture with ground black pepper and extra salt if needed. Cover seasoned butter with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge.

Prepare the Fajitas

Slice the chicken breast into 1/2-inch strips, and rub them with Cajun seasoning, chipotle powder, salt, pepper and lime juice. Let the chicken strips rest while the pan heats.

Heat a cast iron pan on high heat, then add half of the oil. When the oil shimmers, add half of the chicken strips and cook until well-browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cook the remaining chicken strips.

Add the sliced mushrooms to the hot pan. Do not rinse them or add extra oil. Bring the heat to medium-high and cook the mushrooms on one side until they turn brown and start to crisp. Sprinkle them with a small amount of salt, no more than 1/8 teaspoon.

Tip

  • Leave the mushrooms undisturbed while they cook, which allows them to brown more.

Flip the mushrooms and finish heating them until they are fully cooked and browned on both sides, around 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer them to the same plate as the cooked chicken.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. When the oil shimmers and begins to smoke, add the green peppers and sprinkle them lightly with salt, no more than 1/8 teaspoon.

Stir the peppers occasionally. When they start to soften, push them so that they sit around the edge of the pan. Turn the heat down to low.

Add the caramelized onions to the center of the pan, pushing them so they and the peppers cover any exposed portions of the pan.

Place the cooked chicken strips on top of the onions. Dot the chicken, peppers and onions with the chipotle butter sauce, using around 1 to 2 tablespoons.

Sprinkle the chicken with the cup of shredded cheese. Layer the cooked mushrooms over the cheese and dot the mushrooms with an extra 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of butter.

Cover the pan with a lid and let it sit for 5 minutes, cooking on low heat. Once the cheese melts and the chicken is warmed through, scatter the green onions and cilantro on top.

Serve the fajitas immediately, in the cast iron pan. Warm the tortillas and serve the jalapeños, salsa, sour cream, extra cheese and guacamole on the side.

Variations

The chicken breasts can be replaced with boneless, skinless chicken thighs for a richer-tasting fajita. Seasoned shrimp, salmon or beef can also be used in place of the chicken.

Replace some of the green peppers with spicy peppers, such as banana peppers or sautéed seeded jalapeños for a spicier fajita mix.

To give the dish a lighter flavor, leave out the chipotle garlic butter. Instead, cook the mushrooms and peppers with chipotle paste and minced garlic.

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