What could be more summery than this? Grilled chicken, check. Tequila and limes, check. Chicken skewers, check! All of the above are great indicators that we’re in pure summer mode and I for one, couldn’t be happier. Summer always flies by so quickly and I try to take full advantage when it’s here. One of the ways to do that is by firing up the grill and making these grilled tequila lime chicken thighs. These are packed with flavour and so simple to make. Because the last thing I want to do in the summer is spend time indoors prepping food. And luckily with this recipe, you won’t need to.
Funny thing about tequila is that up until a couple years ago, I thought I hated it. Having only ever done shots of tequila in the past (and not a very tasty one) it left a bad taste in my mouth (literally). But then I went to Sayulita, Mexico and started drinking it again, in margs of course. And it’s now one of my favourite drinks and alcohol to enjoy.
With just some spices, lime zest, chicken thighs and of course, tequila, you can have this marinated rather quickly. Here’s what you’ll need to make this.
Chicken thighs: boneless, skinless chicken thighs are what you need for these grilled chicken skewers. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breast if you’d like.
Avocado Oil: I like using a high heat, neutral oil like avocado for these as they’re getting grilled over a high heat.
Honey: to counteract the spices and to help get your chicken more caramelized.
Lime zest: rather than using lime juice, you’ll only need the zest from one lime. This will impart lots of flavour and won’t change the texture, as acid can toughen meats like chicken if you marinate for too long. You can of course use the rest of the lime for garnish and to sprinkle on the chicken when it’s done cooking.
Tequila: this secret ingredient that will add flavour and some smokiness.
How to Make
Besides letting the chicken marinate, there isn’t much else involved in the prep time for this tequila lime chicken. This makes it perfect for an easy, summer dinner. Let’s get to it!
First, cut your chicken thighs into bite sized pieces that will fit on your skewers.
Next, grab a big bowl, baking dish or a ziploc bag for the marinade. You’ll want to marinate this chicken for at least four hours, overnight is even better if you have the time.
Throw in the oil, tequila, spices, salt, honey and lime zest and give it a little mix.
Add in the chicken and toss it all around so it’s nicely coated. Let this marinate and do its thing.
When you’re ready to cook, heat up your grill over medium-high heat. Soak your skewers if using bamboo/wooden ones first. Then thread on the chicken skewers with some chopped red onion if you like (I love grilled red onion with this personally).
Once the grill is nice and hot, spray with some avocado oil to avoid any sticking. Place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, until charred and cooked through, rotating every few minutes.
Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes before serving. I like garnishing with extra limes and flaky salt.
What to Serve with Tequila Lime Chicken
You really can’t go wrong with whatever you want to serve on the side.
My top choices would be any of the following:
- Cilantro and lime flavoured rice (as pictured in these photos)
- A beautiful summery salad with mixed greens and a light vinaigrette
- Healthier macaroni salad
- Mango coleslaw
- Sweet potatoes with hot honey butter
- Crispy oven baked fries
- Mexican street corn salad
Substitutions and Options
No tequila, no problem! See below for my answer to the question of not adding tequila to the chicken lime marinade.
Ancho Chili Powder: Although I love and use this spice quite often in my recipes, you can skip it and use regular chili powder if that’s what you have.
Honey: you can use a different type of sweetener if you don’t have honey. Coconut sugar or maple syrup will also work.
Chicken thighs: feel free to use chicken breast instead here. You can also spatchcock a whole chicken and coat it in this marinade and grill that as well. I prefer using chicken thighs as it’s easier to maintain juiciness and flavour in case you overcook them.
No skewers: skip them and just grill the whole chicken thighs right on the grill.
No grill: use a cast iron to grill this tequila lime chicken indoors, or you can bake them in your oven as well.
Can I make these tequila lime chicken without tequila?
Yes absolutely! Just skip the tequila altogether and keep everything else the same. It won’t have the exact same flavour, but it will still be delicious.
What type of Tequila should I use?
I regularly use a 100% blue agave tequila, like this 1800 Silver Tequila for this recipe as well as for enjoying in a drink. I prefer this one as it’s great tasting and it won’t break the bank!
If you make these tequila lime chicken skewers, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to tag me on Instagram, and/or leave a comment, rating or review below.
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Tequila Lime Chicken Skewers
These easy and tasty tequila lime chicken skewers take 5 minutes to prep and only 15 minutes on the grill, making them perfect for summer. Plus they're packed with flavour too!
Cut your chicken thighs into bite sized pieces to fit on your skewers.
Next, grab a big bowl, baking dish or a ziploc bag for the marinade. You'll want to marinate this chicken for at least four hours, overnight is even better if you have the time.
Drizzle in the oil, tequila, spices, salt, honey and lime zest and give it a mix to combine.
Add in the chicken and toss it all around so it's nicely coated. Let this marinate for at least four hours, or overnight in the fridge.
Heat up your grill over medium-high heat. Soak your skewers if using bamboo/wooden ones first. Then thread on the chicken skewers with the chopped red onion if using.
Once the grill is nice and hot, spray with some avocado oil to avoid the chicken sticking. Place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, until charred and cooked through, rotating every few minutes.
Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes before serving. Serve alongside extra limes and flaky salt. Enjoy!