Chicken is a staple in many dishes, including fajitas.
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It is a healthier alternative to the classic recipe that is made from beef.
We all know that most steak cuts of beef like skirt steak, flank steak, or rump steak are ideal for fajitas, but what about chicken?
Let’s learn more about what cut of chicken is best for your next Tex-Mex fajitas.
How to choose chicken for fajitas?
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The key to having the best chicken fajita is to look for a good cut of chicken.
So here are our tips that you might find helpful in choosing a good cut of chicken for fajitas:
1. Buy organic or free-range chicken if possible
If possible, buy organic or free-range chicken instead of factory-raised chicken.
Free-range chicken is fed a healthier diet without any hormones and antibiotics.
Moreover, they have a lot of space for their daily life, so the chicken is less stressful and produces higher-quality meat.
The proof is that organic or free-range chicken meat has a firmer texture and a more flavorful taste.
This also means it is pricier than regular chicken.
2. A whole chicken will have a better taste and texture
Although chicken fajitas don’t call for a lot of chicken, you might find cooking a whole bird a good idea.
Roasting a whole chicken will result in juicier and tastier meat because the flavor and moisture are locked inside the chicken and the rendered fat from the skin will also help moisten and add flavor to the meat.
You can just use some meat from any part of the roasted chicken for your fajita recipe, while the rest is used for other dishes.
3. Only buy frozen cuts of chicken as the last resort
Another tip to having the best chicken for fajitas is that you should opt for fresh chicken instead of its frozen counterpart.
Fresh chicken is always a priority choice as to if the chicken is frozen improperly, not only the quality but also the nutrient value of the chicken can be affected.
So just only buy frozen cuts of chicken if there is no choice at all.
Keep your eyes on the package of the frozen chicken and avoid buying those with ice crystals inside the package.
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Best chicken for fajitas
Unlike beef, chicken is much smaller in size, so there are not many cuts of chicken for you to choose from.
Normally, either white meat chicken or dark meat chicken can work in most recipes.
So here are our suggestions for the best cuts of chicken for fajitas:
1. A whole chicken
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A whole chicken will not help you save more money (per pound) but also result in a more flavorful taste and juicier texture.
You should slow-roast a whole bird over low heat so that the rendered fat can add flavor to the meat and make your fajita taste much better.
2. Skinless, boneless chicken breast
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Another option for chicken fajitas is chicken breast.
Chicken breast is one of the sought-after cuts of chicken because it is lean, tender, and healthy.
In this case, you should buy skinless, boneless chicken breast so that it will be cooked easier and quicker on the grill.
3. Skinless, boneless chicken thighs
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Skinless, boneless chicken thighs are another good cut for fajitas.
They are dark meat chicken so there will be a bit more fat found in these cuts.
However, chicken thighs are also juicier and more flavorful than bland chicken breast.
They are more affordable so that people from all classes can buy them to add to their daily meals.
Skinless, boneless chicken thighs can be found in most butchers, grocery stores, or supermarkets throughout the country.
The bottom line
If you used to think that chicken cannot replace beef in a Tex-Mex dish like fajitas, we believe that now you have changed your mind.
Chicken, no matter if it is white meat or dark meat, is lower in cholesterol and saturated fat than red meat like beef, while still being a rich source of protein and many other nutrients.
If you live in a big family, you can buy a whole chicken to roast and take some meat for the fajitas whereas other parts can be saved for other dishes.
Otherwise, just opt for a breast or thigh cut.