Spicy Chicken Tacos
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We are stanch believers at Dinnertime Somewhere that everyone needs a great Taco recipe in their back pocket. Those Taco Tuesdays come around real quick and often so you don’t want to be unarmed for it! Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered with these awesome Spicy Chicken Tacos. They tick all the boxes for a classic Taco Tuesday dish. Easy to make, affordable, and tasty! They’re the perfect Taco Tuesday Tacos for a quick and easy meal that the whole family will enjoy

The key to making great Spicy Chicken Tacos is the Chicken marinade

The star of the dish is without a doubt the wonderfully spiced pieces of Chicken. We use Chicken Thigh for optimal flavor and tenderness for our Tacos. The Thighs (or Dark meat) have more flavor than Chicken Breasts and are much more forgiving when being cooked. What I mean by that is, you can overcook them a little bit and they’ll still be super tender. Overcook a Chicken Breast and you’re left with dry, unpleasant Chicken. So always go for Thighs when making Tacos

Spicy Chicken Tacos Marinade
It’s all about the marinade. The wonderful spices and flavor in this dish comes from our wonderful marinade

The key to a great taco is making a beautiful marinade for the meat filling to swim in before cooking. Tacos are all about packing as much flavor as possible into those tortilla pockets of goodness, so don’t be bashful with the flavors in your marinade!

For our Spicy Chicken Tacos marinade we combine the classic spice combination of Cumin, Corinader Powder, and Smoked Paprika. These three spices are what we’d refer to as the ‘holy trinity’ of Mexican spices. Rounding out the spices are a combination of Onion Powder and Garlic Powder. Both represent their namesakes very well, and save on time prepping both vegetables for the marinade

We recommend being quite aggressive with your spice levels too. You want these Chicken Thighs to be loaded with flavor, so be generous with the seasoning. At least 2 tsp. of Cumin, and Paprika is our minimal requirements for optimal flavor

The key ingredient that brings everything together in this chicken marinade is Chipotle in Adobo Sauce

No stranger to a good home cooked Mexican dish (especially our recipes anyway) is Chipotles in Adobo Sauce. These smoky flavored peppers bring such a wonderful depth to the marinade. As soon as they’re added to the dish you can tell by the smell that it’s instantly been transformed into a legit Mexican meal. The aromas are intense, as is the flavor! The Adobo Sauce (which is a tomato and pepper-based sauce) adds the liquid needed to coat the Chicken for the marinade

Finishing off the marinade we add in some Lemon Juice or Vinegar (you can use either), and Salt. Add the Chicken straight into the marinade in a Ziploc bag. Seal it all up then let the marinade do its work on the Chicken in the refrigerator. A minimum 2-hour marinade is required; however, we recommend overnight if you can plan ahead

Chicken Tacos with Avocado
This delicious Chicken Taco is flavored with Chipotle in Adobo Sauce for a smoky, spicy taste

Pan Fry the Chicken on a high heat and it’s ready in no time

Cooking the Chicken for our Spicy Chicken Tacos is simple. Bring it out of the refrigerator when you’re ready to cook and give it a good frying in a large saucepan over medium / high heat. You want the heat quite high, as we want to achieve a lovely, charred flavor to the Chicken

If you have the means and it’s warm outside, we recommend cooking the Chicken on the grill. The touch of the flames on the Chicken will give it a delicious, charred flavor that simply cannot be replicated outside of the grill. Cold outside? Or no grill? That’s fine! Just use your frying pan

Once the Chicken is cooked and the internal temperature reads 160F, pull it off the heat and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into strips to go in your Tacos

Keep your Taco fillings simple, yet classic with two essentials

There are so many different types of fillings you can add to Tacos. Look, we’re fans of personalization so at the end of the day you can add whatever you like to these Spicy Chicken Tacos and they’re going to taste great. Our recipe sticks to two absolute classics which pair unbelievably well with the Chicken

  1. Pico de Gallo
  2. Guacamole

Simple Southern Sides Pico de Gallo

1. Pico de Gallo brings brightness to the Tacos

Is it even a Mexican meal if Pico de Gallo isn’t involved in the dish or on the table in some capacity? We don’t think so! The lovely combination of Tomatoes, Cilantro, Onions, and Lime Juice is a staple of Mexican cuisine, and welcome on any table where Mexican cooking is being served

For the best Pico de Gallo Taco mix, we recommend cutting the Tomatoes and Onions quite finely. This will help to keep them all inside the Taco as it’s being prepared and eaten. We prefer to use Cherry Tomatoes as it makes the preparation a little easier. They also have a wonderful bright flavor. When paired with the Lime Juice and Salt in the Pico de Gallo it will add a wonderful brightness and acidity to the tacos

We love Pico de Gallo and eat it all the time. We love it so much that we’ve even dedicated an entire recipe to it! Check it out here (LINK) to learn more about making this famous side dish

Spicy Chicken Tacos with Guac and Pico de Gallo
Cut the Avocado into strips to serve alongside the Guacamole for a vibrant visual effect

2. Guacamole

We wait we’re keeping the fillings classic for our Spicy Chicken Tacos, so of course, Guacamole is the second addition to the dish. Guacamole also brings an element of brightness to the dish, care of the Lime Juice that’s added to the dish. Of course, the star of the show is the Avocados. Rich, Buttery, and Creamy. They add a brilliant luxurious texture to the Tacos and taste amazing

Keep the Guacamole preparation as simple as you can. Remember, this is a Taco Tuesday meal so we’re looking for quick and easy preparations for food. Carefully remove the seed from the Avocado and scoop out the delicious flesh inside. Place the flesh into a small bowl or a mug along with some finely chopped Tomatoes, Onions, Jalapenos, Cilantro, and Lime Juice

Then, just give it all a good mashing. You can use the back of a fork or a spoon, or even a Potato Masher if you’ve got enough space. It doesn’t need to be mashed super fine or anything. In fact, Chunkier Guacamole is preferred by many (including us!)

If you want to prepare the Guacamole in a more traditional way we recommend using a Mortar and Pestle. It will take a little longer however, but it’s worth it. To find out more, check out our Guacamole Recipe here

Spicy Chicken Tacos plating
Serve all of the components of the Spicy Chicken Tacos separately on the dinner table. That way, everyone can create their own Tacos, unique to their flavor profile

Bringing the Spicy Chicken Tacos together for serving

Tacos are always a fun eating experience, with plenty of interaction with the food. We recommend plating each component of the Tacos separately on the dinner table, and letting people build their own. So, place the Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, and Chicken pieces onto their own, suitably sized serving plates along with appropriate cutlery on the table

For the Tortillas, we recommend giving them a quick toasting over the open flame on the stovetop before placing onto a separate plate. Just place the Tortillas one at a time directly over the heat on the stovetop (no frying pan or anything) and let them char a little bit. Flip them over and do the same. It’ll only take about 20 – 30 seconds on each time, but it’s well worth it

You can use this technique for either Gas or Electric stovetops. It works just as well with either. Some fancy households have their own Tortilla warmers to keep them warm. If you’ve got one of those, use it! Otherwise, just placing them stacked onto a plate is fine. Corn or Flour Tortillas are also both fine, it’s totally up to your preference which ones you use

To finish the dish, we also like to add a few slices of Avocado into the Tacos that have been seasoned with a bit of Lime Juice and Salt. They taste great and add a lovely visual element to the Spicy Chicken Tacos

Recipe Details

Servings

4 people

Prep time

2+ hours (for marinade)

Cooking time

10 minutes

Total time

2 hours (including marinating time)

Spicy Chicken Tacos Recipe

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 2 lbs. Chicken Thighs
  • 2 tbsp. Chipotle in Adobo Sauce
  • Juice of 2 Limes
  • 2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp. Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp. Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. of Salt
  • 12 – 16 Taco Tortillas (3 – 4 per person)
  • 1 tsp. Vegetable Oil

Ingredients for the Guacamole

  • 2 ripe Avocados
  • 2 Tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
  • ½ Jalapeno, deseeded and finely diced
  • ¼ Onion, finely diced
  • Juice of 2 Limes
  • ½ tsp. Salt

For the Pico de Gallo

  • 2 cups of Cherry Tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Red or White Onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 3 Limes
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Instructions

  1. Create the Chicken marinade by combining the Cumin, Coriander Powder, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Lime Juice, Salt, and Chipotles in Adobo Sauce into a Ziploc bag along with the Chicken Thighs. Seal and mix well to coat the chicken the refrigerate for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight)
  2. When ready to cook the Chicken, heat a large frying pan over medium / high heat along with 1 tsp. of Vegetable Oil. Once hot, add the Chicken. Cook for 5 minutes then flip and cook for a further 5 minutes until charred with an internal temperature of 160F. Remove from heat and set aside to rest

To make the Guacamole

  1. Cut the Avocado in half and carefully remove the seed inside. Scoop out the flesh and place into a small bowl or mug along with the Tomatoes, Jalapeno, Cilantro, Lime Juice, and Salt
  2. Mash together with the back of a fork until combined, but still chunky. If preparing in advance, cover with cling film and refrigerate to prevent the Avocados oxidizing and turning grey

Prepare the Pico de Gallo

  1. Chop the Tomatoes and Onions into a fine dice then place into a bowl along with the Cilantro, Lime Juice, Olive Oil, and Salt. Mix well to combine, taste for seasoning then set aside / refrigerate until you’re ready to serve

Serving the Spicy Chicken Tacos

  1. Heat your Tortillas for 20 – 30 seconds on both sides over an exposed flame on the stovetop (you can also use an electric stovetop). Char slightly, then set aside on a plate or in a Tortilla warmer
  2. Once rested, cut the Chicken into bite-sized pieces and place into a large serving plate or bowl. Serve the individual plates of ingredients on the dinner table, allowing everyone to build their own Tacos

Recipe Notes

  • Cut up an additional Avocado into strips and serve inside your Spicy Chicken Tacos alongside the Guacamole for even more Avocado goodness
  • For optimal flavor, we recommend marinating the Chicken overnight

Taco Tuesdays are now covered for the foreseeable future with this delicious Spicy Chicken Tacos recipe. If you’re hankering for more Mexican food we’ve got you covered. Check out all of our wonderful Mexican recipes here, such as these favorites:

Happy Cooking!

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