Carl’s Cabin at Polar Star Inn

My fiance and I recently went on a back country ski trip to a hut in central Colorado with a group of 4 other friends.  We were tasked with making dinner one night for everyone. When we were deciding what to make we knew we wanted something portable, somewhat light for the 6 mile skin in, with minimal waste, and flavorful–of course. We went with chicken fajitas for a crowd!

Chicken Fajitas (Serves 8 hungry athletes)

  • 4 pounds chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2  - 1 teaspoon Mexican hot sauce, to taste
  • 4 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 3 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 3 green bell peppers, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 16 6” whole wheat or corn tortillas
  • 1 jar salsa for serving (optional)
  • 1 can re-fried beans warmed for serving (optional)
  1. Pierce chicken breasts all over with a fork. Combine chicken with remaining ingredients in a large bowl or Ziploc bag and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  2. Heat a grill over medium heat. Grill chicken, flipping half way through, until cooked. Time will depend on size of chicken breasts and temperature of the grill. Chicken will be firm to the touch, but not hard, and well browned on both sides when cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook stirring occasionally until well done, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat tortillas and layer with re-fried beans, chicken, peppers and onions on tortillas. Top with salsa. Serve with additional re-fried beans on the side if desired.

 

The night before our trip we grilled and sliced the chicken, cut up the veggies, and put both in 2 separate large Ziploc bags.

 

We froze the bag with the chicken to make sure it stayed cold and fresh until we got to the hut later that evening, and refrigerated the bag of fajita veggies (uncooked). I also transferred the salsa and re-fried beans to quart sized Ziploc bags, laid them flat, and froze them for maximum freshness. The morning we left, we grabbed the bags of chicken, salsa, and beans from the freezer, veggies and tortillas from the refrigerator and layered them in our backpacks. This way the chicken, salsa, and beans stayed cold, remained fresh until we got to the hut later that evening. To give the fajitas a freshly cooked feel I cooked the sliced fajita veggies up at the hut in a large cast iron skillet, while heating the chicken and re-fried beans up on separate burners.

 

We heated the tortillas near the fire and served the fajitas with plenty of boxed wine.

The fajitas were a hit amongst everyone, and the recipe made plenty to serve all 6 hungry athletes after a 6 mile, 4 ½ hour skin in with 2300 feet of elevation gain, with some leftovers for lunches. The recipe could easily be quartered or halved to feed a small crowd, or frozen in smaller portions for future meals.

By Lauren Anderson – Boulder, CO – bike rider and maker of amazing dishes.

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