Chicken fajitas are one of the few things I can order from a restaurant these days that fit my lifestyle… barely. Restaurants still use prison chickens that never get to move once in their life and go from chick to broiler so fast it looks like a time lapse video. They also use enough salt that it should come with a complimentary blood pressure cuff. But, when I am forced to eat out, it can be the best of the bad choices.
I forgo the tortillas, rice, and beans, and just eat the grilled chickens, peppers, onions, pico, and guacamole. Homemade chicken fajitas are so much better. No wooden chicken, no full shaker of salt. There is, however, a problem with homemade fajitas. They disappear so fast that you better not plan on leftovers for quick and easy lunches. At least around here with a 17-year-old that looks at Jethro from Beverly Hillbillies as an inspiration for portion sizes.
I needed a way to stretch out my food dollars and make my one cook day last for longer into the week. I had already eliminated processed flour tortillas, so why not use a different type of construction altogether? One that could also add more veggies and all the vitamins and fiber that go with it? Enter that old standby and culinary chameleon cauliflower. Cauliflower rice grits, to be precise. It can take on any flavor you throw at it, it’s easy to make, and it makes a perfect base of a hearty casserole that can last longer than 1 day in the house before it vanishes without a trace.
Just remember the golden rule, pasture raised chicken (not the so called Free Range), grass fed dairy, and the least processed chips you can find. You’ll be able to actually taste the veggies and not think your tongue is stuck to a cow lick block out in the pasture… again. This might look like a lot of moving parts, but it comes together with ease and your effort will be rewarded.
Chicken Fajita Casserole
3-4 pasture raised chicken breasts with tenders
1 large package frozen cauliflower rice
1 cup grass fed half & half
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow onion
1 package baby bella mushrooms
4 oz grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz cheddar cheese
Beanitos black bean chips
1 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
1 tsp pepper, divided
1/2 tsp onion and garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin, divided
4 tsp avocado oil, divided
2 tbsp grass fed butter
Season the chicken on both sides with 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp cumin. Heat a cast iron skillet with 2 tsp of avocado oil and then cook the chicken 5 – 7 minutes per side until golden brown and the internal temp hits 170 degrees. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to rest:
Dice and chop the veggies and begin to saute. Season with 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. In another deep pan, heat 2 tsp avocado oil and then add the entire bag of frozen rice. Stir often and cook until the cauliflower is soft and all the moisture has evaporated. Once the rice looks dry, add the butter and stir until melted. Then add the half and half and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the rice thickens up:
Drain any liquid from the veggies, and then add the parmesan cheese to the cauliflower rice, stirring until smooth. Add the rice to a 8×12 casserole dish:
Slice the chicken breasts thin on the bias and then top the rice:
Top the chicken with the drained veggies:
Top the veggies with a handful of black bean chips:
Then cover the chips with the shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees:
Let rest for 5 minutes and enjoy. Top with diced avocado and fresh pico if desired:
See the list of all Jason Murphy’s recipes at www.mysaline.com/jason-murphy.