People keep telling me that summer vacation is over. They are probably unpacking their suitcase, kicking the sand out of their shoes and finding places for all the cute little tchotchkes they bought on their Cancun get a way. Wait… you didn’t go to Cancun? Don’t feel bad, I didn’t get to go to the beach this year, either. In fact, I’ve decided I’m not going to be so nice about it this year. I’ve decided I’m going to rebel about it. Ya, that’s it, I’m going to put on my own “occupy” protest. I’m going to camp in the backyard and not take a bath until somebody takes me to the beach. This year, summer isn’t over until I say so!
Well, maybe I’ll come in to shower and stuff… it is 150 degrees out there.
Or, maybe, I’ll just stay in under the air conditioner, make my Cancun Grilled Chicken Tacos with Citrus Chile Marinade and pretend I’m at the beach.
You can even stage your own protest. Your family will love these tacos. I tried them out on my brother’s family this summer and his kids ate until there was nothing left on the table. It really made a fun weeknight meal and I was amazed at how fast it came together. Especially with my niece, Audrey, making the guacamole! We set bowls of the taco ingredients around the table “family style” to really get the kids talking to each other after a long day.
Yes, I said, “weeknight meal.” These tacos are fast and easy enough to make for dinner on a weeknight and I’ll bet you have the ingredients in your fridge right now. They don’t have to marinade long, usually only around 2 hours so just throw them in the marinade first thing and then they will be ready to grill. You don’t even have to fire up the grill if you don’t want to, a grill pan works great.
You’ll notice there is no cheese in listed for garnishes. You can certainly add some. I chose to go on the “lighter” side staying with guacamole and adding a touch of jalapeno flavored sour cream instead.
Let me know how you like these Cancun flavors. You can leave a comment on this post or on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” the Everyday Southwest fan page and sign up or our free email updates so you won’t miss a single recipe!
—posted by Sandy
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 envelope taco seasoning (1 ounce)
- 1¼ cups orange juice, divided
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (or white or apple cider vinegar)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 habanero chile, seeded and minced (may use jalapeno)
- black pepper
- ½ fresh pineapple cut into rings or chunks
- 2 dozen fresh corn tortillas
- Garnish with:
- shredded lettuce
- sour cream (optional)
- Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the taco seasoning packet evenly over the chicken on both sides and pat into the chicken. Set aside.
- In a non-reactive dish (pyrex, plastic, etc), combine the orange juice, olive oil, lime juice, ½ sliced onion, minced garlic and minced habanero or jalapeno. Stir to combine and distribute evenly.
- Place the chicken in the marinade making sure the marinade covers the top of the chicken. Cover the dish with plastic and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Not, too long or the citrus will “cook” the chicken like ceviche.
- Place remaining sliced onion in the remaining orange juice and allow to soften or “pickle” while the chicken marinates. Drain before serving.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill on a BBQ or grill pan over medium-high heat until done, about 6 to 8 minutes on each side.
- Grill the pineapple a few minutes on each side until grill marks appear.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest before slicing crosswise into ½ thick strips.
- Quickly heat the corn tortillas on the grill, a griddle or large skillet.
- Serve family style with “pickled” onion, grilled pineapple, guacamole, lettuce, salsa and sour cream.