Recipe courtesy of Tex's Tacos

Chicken Fresca

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 3 hr
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 8 tacos
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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

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

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless all-white meat chicken breast, diced

Vegetable oil, for drizzling

8 flour or corn tortillas

10 ounces white American cheese, shredded

1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving

Directions

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the tortillas in a frying pan until just before they turn crispy. 
  6. 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!