Spicy Tequila Lime Chicken


Chicken marinated in a mixture of tequila, lime, and hot peppers has been a favorite dish of mine all summer. It's easy, smells wonderful while it's cooking, tastes great, and is flavorful enough to feel like a much more complicated meal with just some simply sautéed vegetables or a quick salad on the side. Plus, if you're like me and always have tequila and limes in the house (at least, when the weather is warm), it's a handy recipe idea to have in your pocket and whip up, either on the weekend when you can let it marinate all day, or when you are more pressed for time, as even an hour-long soak gives a great flavor. 

Spicy Tequila Lime Chicken


  • 1/4 cup tequila 
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (usually between 1 and 3 limes)
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced*
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole (2 split) boneless chicken breasts, skin on
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil

This recipe serves 2 (or 1 with leftovers) but can be easily doubled. Definitely use a tequila that you actually enjoy the taste of, or the final meal won't be as yummy! Our most commonly purchased tequila brand is Herradura, but for the chicken pictured I used what we currently have in the house, Hornitas Plata. Both are good!

* We like things spicy, so I use a serrano pepper and keep the seeds in. Jalapeño peppers are a good option with less of a kick than serranos, and whichever pepper you use, removing the seeds will remove most of the heat. The mildest option would be a minced jalapeño pepper with the seeds removed. 


Combine tequila, lime juice, jalapeno, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken breasts and thoroughly coat with tequila mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (up to 8 hours), flipping it halfway through your marinade time. (Note that the longer you leave the chicken in the marinate, the more of a kick it can have!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and melt the coconut oil in it. Place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down, and cook for 5 minutes, until the skin begins to get some nice brown crispy spots. Flip over and cook with skin-side up for 3 minutes. grill and brush rack with oil to prevent sticking. Place chicken on a roasting pan and cook in preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes* or until internal temperature measures 165 degrees F / 71.1 degrees C. 

Remove from oven, cover tightly, and rest for 5 minutes. Serve hot with something delicious on the side. In the pictured meal, I sautéed green beans in the same pan I'd seared the chicken in (there was good fat and flavor left in there!) and topped them with a little goat cheese. It was a tasty, easy side for the chicken.

*Important note about cooking times: living at a high altitude, my cooking times can be a little longer than most recipes call for or most people would need, so I always use a meat thermometer to check for my meat's safety and make sure it done without overcooking. I need to bake this chicken for 30 minutes, but if you live at a lower altitude than me - highly likely - you could start checking the temperature after 20 minutes in the oven. I definitely recommend using a meat thermometer to be sure it's fully cooked, though! They are quite handy, and, you know, safety first.

Thanks for checking out this recipe! I know I said in my last post that I'd be posting the Hearst Castle pictures next, but there are so many of them and I haven't had a chance to get that post together! I'm hoping to get it up tomorrow, though. In the meantime, yay food!