Chicken, Smokin'/Grillin'

The Best Mexican Chicken Marinade: Elevate Your Grilling Game!

Hey there, grill enthusiasts! If you’re looking to add some serious flavor to your chicken dishes, you’ve come to the right place. Today, I’m going to share with you my secret weapon for making the juiciest, most flavorful Mexican Chicken Marinade that will take your taste buds on a trip south of the border. Get ready to elevate your grilling game to a whole new level!

Picture this: succulent chicken thighs infused with zesty lime, smoky chipotle, and aromatic spices, all coming together to create a mouthwatering explosion of flavor. This Mexican Chicken Marinade is not only incredibly delicious but also incredibly versatile. Whether you’re firing up the grill for a backyard barbecue, hosting a fiesta with friends, or simply looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal, this marinade has got you covered. Plus, it’s super simple to make with pantry staples you likely already have on hand. So why wait? Let’s dive into the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

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Step-by-Step Guide:

  • In a resealable bag, jar, or container, combine lime juice, vegetable oil, chipotle paste, chili powder, sweet paprika, cilantro, cumin powder, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder, pepper, and salt.
  • Shake or whisk vigorously until all the seasonings are dissolved and well combined.
  • Add the chicken thighs to the bag or container, making sure they are well coated with the marinade on all sides.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. For a deeper flavor, marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard any excess marinade. Place the chicken thighs on the grill, skin-side down, and grill for about 6-8 minutes per side, with grill lid closed, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) and juices run clear.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your delicious grilled chipotle lime chicken thighs!

Expert Tips and Tricks:

  • For extra heat, add more chipotle paste or a dash of cayenne pepper to the marinade.
  • Don’t skip the cilantro! It adds a fresh and vibrant flavor to the marinade.
  • Make a double batch of the marinade and freeze half for later use. It’s perfect for meal prep!
  • Experiment with different cuts of chicken, such as breasts or drumsticks, for variety.

Variations:

  1. Honey-Lime Marinade: Add 2 tablespoons of honey to the marinade for a touch of sweetness.
  2. Orange-Chipotle Marinade: Substitute orange juice for lime juice for a citrusy twist.
  3. Tequila-Lime Marinade: Replace 1 tablespoon of lime juice with tequila for an extra kick.
  4. Mango-Habanero Marinade: Puree mango and habanero peppers and add to the marinade for a tropical flavor.
  5. Pineapple-Cilantro Marinade: Blend fresh pineapple and cilantro and mix into the marinade for a fruity twist.
  6. Smoked Paprika Marinade: Use smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika for a smoky flavor.
  7. Greek Yogurt Marinade: Add Greek yogurt to the marinade for a creamy texture and tangy flavor.
  8. Coconut-Curry Marinade: Mix coconut milk and curry powder into the marinade for an amazing taste.
  9. Jerk Marinade: Blend scotch bonnet peppers, ginger, and allspice and add to the marinade for a Caribbean flair.
  10. Lemon-Herb Marinade: Use lemon juice and fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme for a light and refreshing marinade.

What to Serve With:

  1. Mexican Rice
  2. Grilled Corn on the Cob
  3. Black Bean Salad
  4. Avocado Salsa
  5. Charred Peppers and Onions
  6. Cilantro-Lime Quinoa
  7. Cornbread
  8. Tortilla Chips with Guacamole
  9. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  10. Mexican Street Corn

Freezing:

  1. If you have leftover marinated chicken that you don’t plan on grilling immediately, you can freeze it for later use.
  2. Place the marinated chicken thighs in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and freeze the chicken thighs until they are solid, usually for about 2-3 hours.
  4. Once the chicken thighs are frozen solid, transfer them to airtight freezer bags or containers.
  5. Label the bags or containers with the date and contents, then store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheating:

  1. To reheat frozen marinated chicken thighs, first thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Once thawed, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  3. Place the chicken thighs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.
  4. Alternatively, you can reheat the chicken thighs on the grill over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until heated through.
  5. Once heated through, serve the chicken thighs hot with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!

Pro Tips:

  • Avoid reheating marinated chicken thighs in the microwave, as this can cause them to become dry and tough.
  • For added moisture and flavor, brush the reheated chicken thighs with a little extra marinade before serving.
  • Make sure the internal temperature of the reheated chicken reaches 165°F (75°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.
  • If you’re reheating a large batch of frozen chicken thighs, you may need to extend the reheating time slightly to ensure they are heated through evenly.
  • For best results, only freeze marinated chicken thighs that have not been previously frozen and thawed. Repeated freezing and thawing can affect the texture and flavor of the chicken.

Recipe Card

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Mexican Chicken Marinade

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a resealable bag, jar, or container, combine lime juice, vegetable oil, chipotle, chili powder, sweet paprika, cilantro, cumin powder, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder, pepper, and salt.

  2. Shake or whisk vigorously until all the seasonings are dissolved and well combined.

  3. Add the chicken thighs to the bag or container, making sure they are well coated with the marinade on all sides.

  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. For a deeper flavor, marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

  5. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard any excess marinade. Place the chicken thighs on the grill, skin-side down, and grill for about 6-8 minutes per side, with grill lid closed, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) and juices run clear.

  6. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your delicious grilled chipotle lime chicken thighs!

Hey family,

My name is Aaron Brown. You can call me “A.B.”

My mission is to help you level up the process of making your favorite mealswith my video tutorials and recipe guides,plus my tried-and-true spices, cookware, and more that make every meal special.

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Never over/undercook your food again with SnG Food Thermometer! This handy tool accurately measures food temperatures and eliminates the guesswork. Get your food cooked to perfection every time! Available in colors black and red.