These flavorful chicken tacos are marinated in a quick and easy margarita blend and then topped with delicious pickled radish & onions that add tanginess and crunch.
THIS RECIPE IS SPONSORED BY DANDY FRESH PRODUCE
Inspired by one of my favorite drinks, a classic margarita, this taco is brooming with flavor. I like to enjoy a margarita on the rocks, blended, infused with different flavors; you name it. You really have to work hard to get a margarita wrong. That’s why it stays at the top for me.
I love cooking with booze, but when I do, it’s most commonly for desserts. So when I get to do it for savory dishes like this, I get excited. Here I blended margarita mix with tequila and spices to create a marinade that penetrates that chicken with loads of flavor over time.
I also used my throwback recipe for pickled radishes and onions to top each taco. The pickling adds the perfect acidic crunch. However, this time I found a fantastic shortcut by using Dandy® Radish Coins. They are already washed, cut, and ready to eat, game-changer!
When I’ve made these pickled radishes in the past, I used a mandoline, and no matter how careful I am, I always knick my hand. By using the precut radish coins, I was able to save time and avoid kitchen tragedy. Someones got my back upstairs.
Ingredients for this recipe:
Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – I like chicken thighs because they are more flavorful and stay moist. You can also use chicken breast if you like.
Margarita Mix – you can use a premixed version or make it yourself.
Tequila – enhances the depth of flavor and aroma. My rule of thumb is if you don’t drink it, don’t use it!
Spices – a balanced blend of onion powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper
Garlic & Jalapeno – together, these add the perfect kick of spice
Olive Oil – helps to bond the marinade so that it coats the meat
Dandy Radish Coins – here’s a store locator
Honey – For some additional sweetness to contrast the vinegar
Onions – you can use any onion of your choice. I thinly sliced white onion.
Vinegar – I prefer rice vinegar because it’s both tangy and sweet
Thyme – Adds a woodsy and slightly floral note.
Red Pepper Flakes – light kick of spice
How to make pickled radishes & onions?
- Add Dandy Radish Coins and onions to a glass jar in layers; top with thyme and chili flakes.
- Heat vinegar, water, honey, and salt in a saucepan until the salt dissolves
- Pour vinegar mixture over radishes and onions, making sure to submerge them in the vinegar mixture completely.
- Screw-on lid and allow to marinate at least until the components reach room temperature.
How to make Margarita Chicken?
- Add margarita mix, tequila, jalapeño pepper, cloves garlic, onion powder, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper to a blender and blend on high until smooth.
- Reduce speed to low and slowly drizzle in olive oil.
- Add marinade and chicken and massage to a sealable storage bag so that the marinade coats all the chicken thighs. Let marinate for 3-24 hours.
- Set cast iron grill pan to medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on the flat side and 4-5 minutes on the other side.
- Slice chicken once cool.
To assemble tacos
- Spread crema to the base of the tortilla and top with chicken, pickled radishes, and onion.
- Add your favorite taco toppings like cilantro, jalapenos, avocado, and cheese ( I like cotija).
Do I need to add Tequila to the marinade?
Adding alcohol to marinades helps enhance the flavors of the food. It also acts as a bond with the rest of the ingredients to further the penetration of flavor. I enjoy the kick of flavor that alcohol adds to meats, but it is a personal preference. The dish will still work without it.
Pickled Radishes and Onion
- 1 1/4 cup Dandy Radish Coins
- 1/2 medium onion thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ cup margarita mIx
- 2 ounces tequila optional
- 1 jalapeño pepper roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast
Additional / Optional Taco Dressings
- corn tortillas, toasted
- crema or sour cream
- jalapenos, sliced
- avocado, sliced
- your favorite cheese ( I like cotija)
- lime wedges
- Thinly slice the radishes and the onions. Divide sliced radishes and onions in half then layer vegetables in a pint-sized canning jar (4 layers). Put fresh thyme and sprinkle red pepper flakes across the top. Set the jar aside.
- In a saucepan combine the vinegar, water, honey, and salt and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture until salt is fully dissolved and then remove from the heat.
- Pour the hot mixture into the jar and put the screw on the lid. Let vegetable mixture cool down to room temperature. You can serve the vegetables immediately or refrigerate them in jar airtight jar.
- In a blender add margarita mix, tequila, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, and all the seasonings and blend on high speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and slowly add the olive oil; blend until creamy. Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag pour marinade over top and toss to coat. Marinate in the mix for 3-24 hours. Turn chicken occasionally.
- Before grilling remove the chicken from the fridge and set out for 30 minutes. Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Grill chicken about 3-4 minutes on each side, turning halfway to get great grill marks.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
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