From the store to the kitchen to the table: We outline the steps that get you from raw ingredients to your dinner tonight, free of measurements and complicated techniques. It’s a method you’ll remember and whip out whenever you like. It is the most basic way to make the thing you’re making.

  • – a shallow dish that will fit all of the chicken
  • – a grill pan or outdoor grill
  • – tongs
  • – a frying pan
  • – a clean dishtowel
  • – the juice of one lime
  • – a couple of pinches each of ground cumin and chili powder (optional)
  • – a dash of ground coriander (optional)
  • – a healthy handful of chopped cilantro
  • – two finely chopped garlic cloves
  • – olive oil
  • – a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • – one bell pepper (any color)
  • – one red onion
  • – tortillas (corn or flour)
  • – salt and pepper
  • guacamole and salsa (optional)



  • 1. Mix together the lime juice, spices (if using), cilantro, garlic, and a few drizzles of olive oil in the shallow dish.

  • 2. Place the chicken in the dish and rub the marinade on all sides. Set the chicken aside for at least 10 minutes, or cover and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.

  • 3. Remove the seeds and core from the bell pepper and slice it into strips. Remove the skin of the onion and slice it into 1/2-inch-thick rings; set aside.

  • 4. Heat the grill pan or outdoor grill to medium (about 350 degrees Fahrenheit). Once the grill is hot, place the chicken on it and cook for about 10 minutes or until it’s well browned on the bottom. Flip and cook the other side until the chicken is very firm and well browned on the second side, about 10 minutes more. Remove the chicken and let it rest while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

  • 5. Warm your tortillas one at a time in a hot, dry frying pan, flipping them to heat both sides. Wrap the tortillas in a clean dishtowel to keep warm while you grill the vegetables.

  • 6. Drizzle the bell pepper and onion with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill in a single layer until the vegetables are starting to become tender and slightly charred on one side, then flip and cook the other side the same way, about 10 minutes total.

  • 7. Slice the chicken into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. If you discover the chicken is not cooked all the way through, return the slices to the grill until completely cooked.

  • 8. To serve, pack a tortilla with chicken, vegetables, and guacamole and salsa (if using).

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Illustrations by Bill Russell

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