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Fajita Chicken Breast Marinade Recipe – For BBQ Grilled Chicken

Updated on August 26, 2010

I think most fajita chicken marinades get it all wrong, what with all that cumin, oregano and chili pepper and whatever else that gets thrown in.

To me a perfect fajita is all about simplicity and the balance of a few great ingredients rolled into one very satisfying bite – and when it comes to a chicken marinade, I think chicken breast needs to have sufficient saltiness, a deep unidentifiable savoriness a touch of lime sourness and just a touch of herb flavoring.

Keep the main fajita ingredients simple but good and leave it to table sauces and salsa to add spice and spicy notes!

Anyways, here’s the fajita marinade we use on chicken everyday in my Mexican restaurant – over the years we’ve gone through a lot of it!

Tip**** We cut the chicken breast lengthwise to make thinner cutlets for grilling. This allows the marinade to penetrate the meat fully and quickly and makes grilling very quick and very easy. Since you’re going to be cutting the chicken into strips anyways, there’s little to be gained by grilling the whole, fat, chicken breast as is. Go for 1/2 to ½ an inch of thickness.

Fajita Chicken Marinade

For 2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into 1/3 to ½ inch thick slices

  • ¾ tsps salt
  • 2 Tbls of vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbls of soya sauce (the soya sauce may not seem like a very Tex/Mex ingredient, but you won’t taste it in the finished product and it really adds a deep savoriness (umami) to the chicken that it wouldn’t otherwise have.)
  • 2 Tbls of lime juice
  • 2-3 Tbls of chopped cilantro (including the root part if you’ve got it)
  1. Mix the ingredients together and then pour over the chicken in a bowl, stirring the chicken pieces so that the marinade is evenly distributed throughout
  2. Let the chicken marinade for at least an ½ an hour and for up to a few hours before grilling
  3. Grill the chicken until cooked through, slice and serve with sautéed onions and sweet peppers, fresh flour tortillas, guacamole, fresh pico de galo salsa, a spicy tomato based salsa, grated cheese and whatever other fajita fixing you enjoy!

Fajitas are only as good as the flour tortillas you serve them with, and for this meal, fresh homemade tortillas really make all the difference – and they’re so easy too! If you’ve never made flour tortillas before, follow the link for a recipe and detailed instructions.


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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Great recipe with great ingredients..and I am a chicken fan.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I will try this recipe. I love fajitas and it sounds great.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      My son will enjoy this recipe. Thanks!

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image


      8 years ago

      A very tasty recipe. Thanks, I will try it. I prefer soy sauce too.


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