Tequila Lime Chicken
Mexican Tequila Lime Chicken skewers marinated in flavorful chili, lime, garlic marinade. Easy to cook and taste better than your favorite restaurant!
Posted By Savita
Tequila Lime Chicken is Mexican chicken recipe with flavorful marinade of chili, lime, garlic and tequila. So simple to put together, but vibrant and zesty, Tequila Chicken is a must try for every Mexican food lover! With just 10 minutes prep and pantry staples, this Mexican chicken main course is much easier to prepare at home than you might imagine. Easy to cook and taste better than your favorite restaurant. Gluten free, low-carb, paleo, and whole-30 diet friendly.
If you can use outdoor grill, try grilled Tequila Lime Chicken skewers. No worries if you not looking to grill. I have included instructions to prepare Tequila Chicken in oven. you can also prepare it in Instant Pot! IP is my special favorite to make all-season Tequila Chicken for Tacos. (Don't miss the Notes.)
Let's cook some boozy chicken today :-) Shall we?
Tequila Lime Chicken
If you like Mexican food, I'm sure you are not new to flavor combination of Chili, and Lime. This two flavors with Tequila make chicken The Tequila Lime Chicken! The Chili Lime Marinade for the recipe is all you need cook this recipe.
In simple words, there is no Tequila Chicken without Chili and Lime. Period. Of course, Tequila, garlic, and olive oil are also important ingredients in the marinade.. but chili, lime are the Star! My personal touch in this marinade is cumin powder for earth depth-of-flavor, Tabasco for extra kick, and little sugar to round the flavor. Seriously, the resulting marinade is so delicious. I even use it as dipping sauce.
To summarize, here is what you need to make Tequila Lime Chicken Marinade:
- Chili (sweet paprika)
- Lime Juice
- Olive Oil (or avocado oil)
- Cumin Powder
- Salt and Pepper
Worth a mention, marinade is very versatile. Use it for seafood such as to make Tequila Lime Shrimp, Wings - Tequila Lime Wings. Even baked tofu tastes delicious with this marinade.
To prepare chicken tequila, I start by mixing marinate ingredients, chili, lime, tequila, garlic, olive oil, sugar, seasoning, and cumin powder in a bowl or a seal-able plastic bag. Once marinade is ready, I either slice chicken into bite-size pieces or pound chicken tenders into flat strips to make (little fancy) skewers. Either ways, for good flavor, it is important to marinate chicken for at-least 30 minutes. This is what brings out the flavor of marinade.
Note: Tequila Chicken does not need longer margination as Tequila in marinade act as natural meat tenderizer.
When ready to grill, I thread chicken onto skewers, and throw on pre-heated grill until chicken is fully cooked from all sides and kabobs have nice char.
That's it! Tequila Chicken is really THAT easy recipe.
Note: Be careful while brushing/moping extra marinade on cooking chicken as trace of tequila in marinade can cause flares.
Instant Pot Tequila Chicken
To make Tequila Chicken in Instant Pot, start with marinated chicken from Step-2. Heat Instant Pot on Saute setting. When hot, add 1 tbsp. of oil. Take chicken out of marinade and add to the pot. Saute until chicken is no longer pink. 2-3 minutes. Add in reserved marinade and 1/4 cup of chicken stock. Cover and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Saucy, and flavorful Tequila Chicken is ready to serve!
Baked Tequila Chicken
There are two ways to prepare baked Tequila Chicken.
- To bake kabobs-style skewers, thread marinated chicken on metal skewers. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. For charred flavor, turn on broiler for last 1 minute.
- You can also bake tequila chicken in a baking dish, covered with aluminum foil. The resulting chicken is moist and has sauce to serving over rice! Very good for filling in tacos or eat with side of rice.
Plan to try something new this week? Start with this delicious Tequila Lime Chicken.
Tequila Lime Chicken
- 2 lbs Chicken (boneless chicken breast, small diced or tenders)
- 1/4 Cup Tequila
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp Lime (juice of 2 large limes)
- 1/2 tsp Tabasco Sauce (or 1/2 tsp chili paste)
- 1.5 tsp Paprika (sweet paprika, not smoked)
- 1 tbsp Garlic (4-5 cloves, grated)
- 2 tbsp Red Onion (or shallot, grated)
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder (preferably dry roasted cumin seeds, ground. See Note 1)
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Brown Sugar
Tequila Lime Chicken and Marinade
1. Prepare Tequila Lime Marinade: Add all ingredients from the ingredients list except chicken in a wide bowl. Whisk well to emulsify oil and lemon. Mix until sugar and salt are dissolved. Take 2 tbsp of marinade in a small bowl and reserve.
Additional NotesYou can prepare marinade up-to a week in advance.
2. Marinate Chicken: In bowl with marinade, add diced chicken. Coat to cover chicken in marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Make Chicken Skewers: Set an outdoor grill or grill sheet pan to preheat. Skew pieces of marinated chicken onto the skewers. I skewed about 4-5 long tenders per skewer. Discard the leftover marinade in bowl.
4. Grill Chicken Skewers : Coat preheated grill with oil spray. Grill chicken until it is fully cooked from all sides. Turn occasionally to avoid burning the fresh herb marinade. Once turned, brush the reserved marinade from Step-1 on cooked side once or twice. If reserved marinade is less, mix in a tbsp of oil.
Additional NotesIf cooking in oven, check Oven Method in Note 3.
5. Garnish and Serve: Place Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken on a platter. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs (optional). Serve with side of more lime wedges. Enjoy.
- Dry Roasted Cumin Seeds: Fresh roasted cumin seed powder has unmatched earthy flavor. To dry roast, heat a dry skillet, add 1-2 tbsps of cumin seeds. Roast until fragrant, about 1 minute. Keep an eye, don't let seeds burn or turn too black. Transfer roasted seeds in a spice grinder/mortar/paper towel. Let'em cool slightly. Crush to make powder. Use in recipe. Save any remaining powder in container with lid.
- Grilling Tips: a) Leave a little space towards handle of skewers for proper handling on grill.
b) If using wooden skewers, soak skewers in water so that these not burn quickly while on the grill.
c) Note: Don't use wooden skewers if broiling in the oven.
d) Be careful while brushing/moping extra marinade on cooking chicken as trace of tequila in marinade can cause flares.
- Baked Chicken - To prepare in oven, preheat oven at 375 degree Fahrenheit, place skewers on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake 10-15 minutes or until kabobs are fully cooked. Turn skewers once after first 7 minutes. For charred flavor, turn on broiler for last 1 minute.
You can also bake tequila chicken in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil. The resulting chicken is very good for filling in tacos or serving over rice with sauce.
- Calories/Serving: Please note, in grilled meats, oil used in marinade mostly drips away. So actually calories per serving will be lesser.
- Marination Time - Tequila Chicken does not need longer margination as Tequila in marinade act as natural meat tenderizer. Small sliced chicken kabobs absorb marinade quickly. For kabobs, marinate 30 minutes. If planning to marinate overnight, use whole chicken breast or thighs.
- Tequila cooks off when chicken is grilled. If absolutely needed, you can skip Tequila.
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