Shredded Chicken Tacos w/ Honey Lime Tequila Marinade
Taco nights are my favorite - they are fun, delicious, easy, and able to accommodate a variety of different dietary restrictions and personal preferences when you’re feeding a group. It’s my “go to” meal if I’m hosting and want to make something epic, but don’t have the time or energy to cook a multiple course, gourmet meal. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser, because who doesn’t love tacos?!
The first time I made these tacos was for a little birthday get together with some friends. My friend Jessie (and my partner in crime and all things food) and I put our heads together to come up with a quick, simple dinner that was sure to impress. I usually make steak or slow cooked barbacoa tacos, but Jess had the idea to make chicken tacos with a simple honey, lime, tequila marinade. With no actual recipe, and only a couple of hours until dinner, I threw a together a simple marinade and prayed that it would work even though we only had an hour or two before we were planning on cooking it. The result was DELICIOUS and became an instant favorite.
I’ve broken down the ingredients needed for each component below! This recipe serves 5-6 people, but can easily be reduced by using fewer chicken breasts and avocados. The chicken is SO GOOD eaten as leftovers on extra tortillas or on top of a salad, so don’t worry about making too much food! You won’t have to worry about making too much guacamole either - it’s always the first thing to disappear.
Juice of 2 Limes
3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 Bunch of Cilantro (roughly chopped)
3 tbs. Olive Oil
2 oz. Espolon Reposado Tequila
1 tbs. Honey
1 Jalepeno (finely chopped)
Salt + Pepper to taste
6 large Chicken Breasts
1 White Onion (finely chopped)
2 Limes (cut into wedges)
1 bunch of Cilantro (roughly chopped)
Goat Cheese (crumbled)
Small Corn Tortillas
3 tbs. White Onion (finely chopped)
2 tbs. Cilantro (roughly chopped)
2 Limes (juiced)
1-2 tbs. Jalepeno (finely chopped)
1 clove Garlic (minced) *optional
Salt + Pepper
Combine all of the marinade ingredients into a bowl. Rinse the chicken breasts and then place into a gallon sized ziplock bag. Pour marinade mixture into the ziplock bag and close it as you remove the air from the bag. Shake and move the bag around to coat the chicken breasts thoroughly. Place in the fridge and leave for an hour or two.
When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and pour the contents of the bag into a baking dish. Season the chicken with cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and let cook for 35 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, prep everything else for the tacos. Finely chop one white onion and place in a bowl. Roughly chop one bunch of cilantro and place in a bowl. Cut lime wedges and place in a bowl. Finely chop 1 jalepeno and place in a ramekin or small bowl. Put the crumbled goat cheese out on the table, as well as the tortilla chips. We love to put sriracha on our tacos, so I always make sure that’s on the table as well!
Make the guacamole. Cut open the avocados, remove the pits, and scoop into a bowl. Juice 1-2 limes and pour into the bowl. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the chopped white onion, the minced garlic cloves, and some of the chopped cilantro and jalepeno to the bowl. Mix all of the ingredients together until smooth. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika to taste.
When the chicken is done cooking, take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes while you finish prepping everything. Then, taking two forks, gently shred the chicken breasts by pulling them apart. When all the chicken is shredded, stir it up to allow it to soak up all the juices. Place in a serving bowl with the juices, and place on the table.
This is the time to make drinks if you’re going to do that - we love to make either margaritas, palomas, or our new favorite (per our friends’ recommendation): tequila and tonics. Think gin and tonics, but with tequila. Sounds weird, I know, but trust me - it will change your life. (Thanks again, Matt + Tiph, for introducing us. We love you!)
In a tumbler, add 2 oz. of Espolon Reposado tequila and ice, then fill the rest with tonic water. We enjoy around a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of tequila to tonic. Add a squeeze of lime, and voila! Welcome to your new favorite drink.
When everything is ready to go, heat up your corn tortillas. Make sure to do this last to avoid them getting rubbery or falling apart. You can do this in one of two ways: in the microwave or on the stove in a skillet. If you use a microwave: take a few paper towels and wet them and squeeze them out. Wrap the stack of tortillas in the paper towels and microwave for a minute to a minute and a half, depending on how many you are heating up. We usually start with 3 per person. If you heat them on the stove: heat up a skillet on medium heat and warm them up one at a time. Let them sit in the skillet for 30 seconds on each side, or until they start to bubble. Wrap the tortillas in a kitchen towel to keep them warm until you’re finished heating all of them. Once these are done, you’re ready to eat! Enjoy!