Tequila-Lime Chicken Tacos with Charred Limes

Chicken Tacos

The corn flavor of fresh tortillas, a healthy dose of lime a dash of tequila, and a bit of chile — chicken doesn’t find better mates. For these soft tacos, we pound the breasts fairly thin so that there are still plenty of crispy edges after we pull the grilled chicken into shreds. Even without the zippy marinade, the general notion works well with any leftover grilled chicken. The creamy lime sauce is a luxurious switch from salsa or hot sauce but for variety’s sake, either could replace it on occasion.–Cheryl and Bill Jamison

LC Not So Tipsy Tacos Note

There’s a wee bit of booze in these tacos–and we do mean wee, with just a trace of tequila per taco, seeing as the chicken merely takes a bath in the marinade before it’s poured off. While the pleasingly tart taco stuffing won’t make you tipsy, bear in mind that some 80-proof alcohol still lingers, so bear that in mind should you have anyone at the table who may not appreciate tequila, be they toddlers (or their parents), anyone who’s had a bad college experience with tequila, and so forth.

Tequila-Lime Chicken Tacos with Charred Limes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 4 or more


  • For the marinade
  • Minced zest and juice of 2 medium to large lemons
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1 tablespoon Triple Sec or other orange flavored liqueur
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground dried green chile or chile seasoning, or 1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapeno
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 to 4 medium limes, sliced into 4 wedges
  • Few tablespoons tequila
  • Vegetable oil
  • For the sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried ground green chile or green chile seasoning , or minced pickled jalapeno to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas, plus a few extras in case of tears


  • Make the marinade
  • 1. At least 1 hour ahead, or up to the night before you plan to grill prepare the marinade: Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Place the chicken breasts in a zippered plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag, and toss back and forth to coat the chicken evenly. Refrigerate.
  • 2. Up to 1 hour ahead, place the lime sections on a plate, sprinkle them with the tequila, and rub lightly with oil. Let sit at room temperature.
  • Make the sauce
  • 3. Stir together the ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Prepare the tacos
  • 4. When ready to grill, drain the chicken and discard the marinade. Let sit uncovered at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  • 5. Fire up the grill, bringing the heat to medium (4 to 5 seconds with the hand test).
  • 6. Grill the chicken uncovered for 6 to 8 minutes total. Turn onto each side twice, rotating the breasts each time to get crisscross grill marks. The chicken is done when it is white throughout but still juicy. Grill the limes alongside the chicken, turning them from time to time so that they soften and develop a bit of char. Remove them as they are ready. Warm the tortillas on the edge of the grill, then wrap in a dish towel or foil to keep warm.
  • 7. Working quickly pull the chicken into thin shreds and pile it on a platter. Surround with the limes, and set the bowl of sauce on the platter or alongside. Place the wrapped tortillas in a basket. Serve immediately, encouraging diners to fill and fold the tortillas, drizzle with sauce, squeeze on some of the warm tequila-spiked lime juice, and enjoy.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

This recipe has a nice tang of citrus and, when mixed with the sauce on the taco, it’s a very pleasing taste on the palate. I started marinating my chicken the night before because I wanted the flavors to penetrate throughout the chicken. I also used green chile powder instead of the jalapeños. The one thing I’d do differently next time is to heat the corn tortillas in the microwave. When cooked on the grill they tended to be dry and hard to roll. We microwaved the rest and wrapped them in plastic wrap, and they were very soft, moist, and perfect for rolling. The combination of chicken, sauce, tortilla, and a squeeze of lime will leave you wanting more.

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