Oh Chi Chi’s. It’s been 16 years since you’ve shuttered your doors, and the pain still hurts like it was yesterday.
I celebrated birthdays there, standing on a chair wearing a sombrero. It was our fancy family night out when my parents had a few extra dollars in their pockets. I even had my first official 21 year old drink at Chi Chi’s; a frozen peach margarita.
There are certain places you grow up with that just become a part of you, even if it’s overly commercial or inauthentic Mexican food. Those things matter less when it’s a memory that just makes you feel good.
That was the 90’s for me, corny food memories and starter jackets.
Chi Chi’s fajitas were a yummy mix of sweet and tart, and it turns out, the secret is insanely easy.
I mean, would you kick this plate of food outta bed? No. You’d dig in with a fork while you ask your husband to sing “Happy happy happy birthday, to you. To you. To you. Ole!” to you.
Chicken breasts, peppers, onion, limes and Italian dressing. Also, 2 gallon size ziplock bags.
The marinade for this actually only two simple ingredients.
First important note, marinate the chicken and veggies separately.
Throw the chicken in a bag with a bottle of dressing and the juice of 3 limes. The more limes you use, the more tart it will be. You can’t go wrong here.
For extra kick, I also toss a couple limes in the bag to marinate.
Another piece of advice, if you are grilling these vegetables, cut them big enough that you aren’t chasing them down a grill grate.
Repeat the marinade step with the veggies.
At minimum, these bags need to sit in the fridge for a few hours.
But, I like to plan this meal out in advance so it can sit 1-2 days. It just gets so flavorful the longer it (safely) sits.
I serve this up with tortillas, some blistered tomatoes, and lots and lots of avocado.
Chi Chi's Chicken Fajitas
Just like the original, these Copycat Chi Chi's chicken fajitas are easy, sweet, and tart.
- 4 large Chicken Breasts
- 5-6 Limes
- 3 Peppers (green, yellow, or red)
- 1 Large Onion
- 2 16oz bottles of Italian Dressing
- Add the chicken, 1 bottle of Italian dressing, and the juice of 3 limes to a gallon size ziploc bag, seal and mix.
- Slice the onion and peppers into strips.
- Add the onions, peppers, 1 bottle of Italian dressing, and the juice of 2-3 limes to a separate gallon size ziploc bag, seal and mix.
- Refrigerate chicken and vegetables for a minimum 2 hours, but 24-48 hours recommended for even better taste.
- Grill chicken and vegetables over high heat to cook through and char.
- Slice cooked chicken into strips, and serve with grilled vegetables.
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