Chicken Fresca

Recipe courtesy Tex's Tacos
Show: Eat St. Episode: Sea Food & Eat It
TOTAL TIME: 3 hr 40 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive Prep: 3 hr
Cook: 15 min
YIELD: 8 tacos
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

TEQUILA-LIME BRINE:
  • Juice of 5 limes, plus zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 1/4 cup gold, dark tequila
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Guajillo chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, minced and seeded
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
    PICO DE GALLO:
    • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
    • 1/2 red onion, diced
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
    • 10 ounces white American cheese, shredded
    • 1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
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    Directions

    For the tequila-lime brine: Squeeze the lime and orange juice into a medium mixing bowl. Add the tequila, salt, chile powder, honey, black pepper, garlic, jalapenos, cilantro and lime zest. Whisk thoroughly until the dry seasonings are dissolved.

    Place the chicken in a nonreactive plastic storage container. Pour the tequila-lime brine over the chicken and coat well using tongs. Cover the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator, 3 to 4 hours.

    For the pico de gallo: Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes and onions in a plastic mixing bowl. Coat with lime juice and toss. Add the salt, black pepper, garlic and jalapenos and stir until mixed evenly. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

    For cooking and assembling: Heat a flat-top stove or grill to 425 degrees F. Drizzle some oil over the flat-top or grill and then sear the chicken using tongs, letting it char for proper coloration and flavor searing, about 20 seconds. Pour the tequila-lime brine over the chicken and continuously turn the chicken until cooked to 165 degrees F.

    Meanwhile, heat the tortillas in a frying pan until just before they turn crispy.

    Lay a warm tortilla open-faced on a plate and spoon in the steaming grilled chicken. Add the cold pico de gallo and sprinkle the cheese over the taco. Garnish with the cilantro. Close your eyes, take a bite, and realize that you've found heaven on earth!

    This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
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