1 ½ to 2poundsboneless skinless chicken breasts (see note for using chicken thighs)
1large yellow, white, or red onion
2bell peppers, any color
2tablespoonsoil, divided (you'll use half for the chicken, half for the veggies)
2 to 3clovesgarlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
1tablespoonred wine vinegar, can sub apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1tablespoonsoy sauce, I use low-sodium
1teaspoonliquid smoke, optional but so very delicious
½teaspoonsalt, I use coarse, kosher salt
Pinchof black pepper
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
Optional toppings: sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, tomatoes, etc.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place oven racks in upper and lower positions (you'll use both racks). If you have convection setting, preheat to 375 degrees F.
Cut chicken into 1/4-inch strips and place in medium bowl. Cut onion in half, peel off the skin, and cut each half into 1/4-inch half moon strips. Place onion in a separate bowl. Cut the bell peppers into 1/4-inch strips and add to the bowl with the onions.
Place the baking sheets in the oven, one on each rack, to preheat for 5-6 minutes.
While the baking sheets preheat, add the following to the bowl with the chicken: 1 tablespoon oil, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper. Toss to combine.
To the bowl with the onions/peppers, add 1 tablespoon oil (more or less) and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
Remove the baking sheets from the oven and quickly (but carefully) dump the chicken on one sheet pan and the veggies on the other pan. Spread both chicken and veggies into a single layer. Return the pans to the oven. If using a standard oven (non-convection), put the pan with the chicken on the bottom rack and the veggies on the top rack.
Cook the chicken for 6-7 minutes until tender and cooked through. Remove from the oven and continue cooking the veggies 5-6 minutes longer until crisp-tender (add time if you want the veggies even softer).
I like to dump the pan of hot, cooked veggies onto the sheet pan with the chicken and toss to combine. Squeeze the juice of a lime across the top; toss lightly. Serve the chicken and veggies in tortillas (or on a salad!) piled high with toppings of your choice.
Nutrition Facts: the nutrition facts for this recipe were calculated based on the chicken and vegetables (but do not include the tortillas or optional toppings as those are added based on personal preference). The key to this recipe:cooking the chicken and veggies on separate sheet pans. Not only does this help not overcrowd the sheet pan, but because the chicken cooks faster than the veggies, it ensures all the ingredients get their proper amount of time in the oven. Other key: the liquid smoke. It adds such delicious flavor. If you don't have it, try adding a bit of smoked paprika.For extra flavor:consider adding the same amount of seasonings to the onions/peppers that you add to the chicken (you'll still want to add the amount called for in the recipe to the chicken...just double and add the second half to the veggies).Preheating the baking sheets: this helps the chicken and veggies sizzle when they hit the pan AND it helps prevent sticking. Speaking of baking sheets, if you are using a dark, nonstick baking sheet, you might want to decrease the oven temperature as those types of pans will cook the ingredients faster than the light-colored baking sheets.Chicken breasts vs chicken thighs: I use chicken breasts 99% of the time because I always have them on hand and chicken thighs gross me out just a leeetle bit. However, it is true that chicken thighs are indisputably more tender and flavorful; you can definitely use them in this recipe. They'll take several more minutes to cook than chicken breast meat (in fact, you could probably get away with putting the chicken strips on the same pan as the veggies), so keep an eye on that.