A real Mexican marinade for chicken that’s simple to make but packs in BIG flavours! This chicken is a home-style version of Mexican street food. Great for grilling, cooking on the stove or even baking!
The marinade for this recipe is adapted from a Bobby Flay recipe. I’m a huge fan of Bobby Flay. I still stand by a comment I made previously that he should seriously consider wearing sunnies when he cooks outdoors because I swear, he is permanently squinting in his Barbecue Addiction TV series!
Bobby Flay’s food is totally up my alley. He’s into strong flavours, herbs and spices, cooking food from all over the world, and while he does do Western takes on ethnic recipes, he always stays on the right side of “the line”. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to staying on the right side of “the line”. There, I’ve said it. I’ve never openly admitted that before. I am absolutely not a food snob. I’m not a gourmet foodie, I’m not into foraging, I don’t refuse to eat anything other than artisan bread.
But I actually get a bit grumpy when I see, for example, a recipe named “Chinese” something-or-rather just because it has soy sauce in it, and no other Asian ingredient!
So one reason I like Bobby Flay’s recipes is because even if they are not a 100000% traditional recipe, they still taste authentic. Am I making sense???
And this Mexican grilled chicken is one such example. 🙂
I found this recipe in Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction cookbook. I’ve used a LOT of recipes from that cookbook, it’s one of my go-tos for…well, barbecue recipes! Actually, to tell you the truth, I use a lot of part of the recipes. Most of his recipes tend to comprise of a marinated or spice rubbed protein, plus a sauce or salsa on the side and quite often I end up using either the marinade or the side.
So the marinade I use for this chicken is adapted from Bobby Flay’s Mexican Red Chicken with Grilled Black Corn and Quinoa Relish. I skipped the Relish because this chicken is absolutely perfect for using for tacos, as I have done for this recipe.
The marinade for this chicken is based on a Mexican street food called Sinaloa Chicken. Deep dark mahogany red, mildly spicy and aromatic from cinnamon and All Spice. The real street food version is made using whole chickens and it’s cooked over charcoal.
So this is a homestyle version, made using a marinade adapted from Bobby Flay’s recipe, using chicken thigh fillets so it’s perfect for cutting into slices and stuffing into tacos.
If you love Mexican food, I promise, absolutely PROMISE you will love this. The flavour is truly sensational! – Nagi x
Taco topping options
Taco Sauce or hot sauce / chilli sauce of choice
And more tacos
Quick Chicken Tacos – 2 in 1 recipe, shredded taco seasoned chicken AND taco sauce
Beef Tacos – the old school way
Fish Tacos – marinated and grilled, healthy and delicious!
Pork Carnitas Tacos – the iconic Mexican pulled pork tacos
Shredded Beef Tacos – tender slow cooked shredded beef in a deep flavoured Mexican sauce
Mexican Grilled Chicken Tacos
- 1 - 1.5 lb / 500 - 750g chicken thigh fillets (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
- 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp chipotle or ancho chile powder (Note 3)
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp smoked paprika powder (Note 4)
- 1/8 tsp All Spice
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional - for spiciness)
- 1 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Tortillas or taco shells
- Pico de Gallo (tomato salsa)
- Sour cream
- Fresh coriander / cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Place Marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag. Add chicken, massage to coat then refrigerate to marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
- Remove chicken from Marinade, discard Marinade.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat (or even better, do this on the BBQ on medium high). Cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side, until dark golden brown.
- Remove chicken onto plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes.
- Cut into strips and use for tacos. (See Note 5 for more serving options)