As predicted, my grill is my new best friend. Everything tastes better grilled, plus being outside around dusk is rather lovely in and of itself. I used to cook so that I could eat outside in the summer; now I get to cook outside and eat outside. These grilled chicken tacos were simple and fun to make: marinated chicken thighs, appropriate condiments, wrapped up in a flour tortilla. The marinade was delicious: cumin, chili powder, a little cayenne, and limejuice, mixed with olive oil. I could have eaten the chicken plain. I suppose it was more of a glaze than a marinade, viscous and deeply colored. I think it would have tasted great even if the chicken had just taken a quick dip in it, rather than the 30-minute soak I allowed for.
I topped the tacos with salsa, cheese, sour cream, and red cabbage. I like the “Santa Barbara” Brand salsa. It’s refrigerated and very fresh tasting. My favorite is their hot salsa, but I haven’t had one that I didn’t like. The red cabbage was both hearty and refreshing. I was a little concerned that it was going to be too strong of a flavor, but it worked beautifully, and it’s definitely healthier and more interesting than head lettuce. However, the red cabbage prompted me to add the sour cream. I thought it would mix well with the cabbage and salsa, and allow the whole thing to mellow out. I actually made an additional trip to the store once I got home because I felt it was that important. I’m sure the tacos would have been perfectly edible without it, but it was worth the trip. Next time, I might want to finely shred my cheese though, and possibly change the order of my layers. Still, this was overall a delightful summer dinner.
Grilled Chicken Tacos (makes about 6-8 tacos, loosely based on this recipe)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
For taco assembly:
Small flour tortillas
Thinly sliced red cabbage
Shredded Monterey jack cheese
- In a medium bowl (big enough to hold all of the chicken), whisk together all of the spices, and lime juice. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking as you go.
- Add chicken and evenly distribute in marinade. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare all taco condiments, and preheat a gas grill at medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
- When hot, lay chicken on the grill, smooth side down, for 5-6 minutes a side.