Margarita Chicken Asado Tacos with Pico de Gallo

It’s hard to imagine anything that can’t be improved by a long, slow marinating in lime juice, kosher salt, and cheap tequila: Chopped chicken breast, choice pieces of lamb, thinly sliced rib eye, your endlessly screeching children, your neighbor’s barking dog, or your own broken heart.

This recipe is no exception. The marinade imbues the chicken with all of the flavors of a classic margarita, while keeping the breast meat juicy and tender. Topped with a dead-simple pico de gallo, a few bits of diced avocado, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese, it’s a crowd-pleasing taco with broad appeal that still seems vaguely chef-y and will make everyone think that you know what you’re doing. And if there are any doubts, remind your guests that their tacos ARE LITERALLY SOAKED IN TEQUILA, then offer them a pour off the plastic gallon bottle that only cost twelve dollars.

Margarita Chicken Asado Tacos with Pico de Gallo
Serves 2
A soaking in tequila keeps the chicken supple and moist on the grill. Just like your feelings. This recipe can be multiplied to feed a crowd; assume 1/2 pound of chicken per person.
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831 calories
59 g
193 g
26 g
79 g
5 g
633 g
1495 g
6 g
0 g
18 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 831
Calories from Fat 220
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g
Saturated Fat 5g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 193mg
Sodium 1495mg
Total Carbohydrates 59g
Dietary Fiber 15g
Sugars 6g
Protein 79g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the chicken
  1. 2 ounces bottom-shelf tequila
  2. 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  3. 2 teaspoons chili powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  5. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
For the Pico de Gallo
  1. 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  2. 1/4 red onion, minced
  3. 1/2 jalapeño, ribbed and seeded, minced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. Juice from 1 lime
  6. Kosher salt, to taste
To assemble
  1. 6 corn tortillas
  2. 1 avocado, diced
  3. Crumbled cotija or queso fresco
For the chicken
  1. In a bowl, combine chicken, tequila, lime juice, spices, and salt. Toss well, then cover and chill at least one hour, or up to four hours.
  2. Cook chicken and marinade in a large skillet, until marinade has cooked away and chicken as begun to brown, about 15 minutes.
For the Pico de Gallo
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and toss or stir to combine thoroughly.
To assemble
  1. Warm tortillas in microwave or in a skillet over low heat. Stack each tortilla with cooked chicken, pico de gallo, and diced tomato. Finish with a sprinkle of cotija cheese and serve immediately.
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Malcolm Bedell

Malcolm loves Mexico, speaks fluent taqueria Spanish, and totally has Mexican friends. Author of both "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," and food blog From Away, his writing and photography credits include Serious Eats, Down East Magazine, The LA Weekly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and more. His seasonal food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater, and he finds trying to write this in the third person to be muy chistoso.

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