Home > Grilled Goodness, Meats! > Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken

Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken

Tequila Lime Chicken

Tequila Lime Chicken with Grilled Garlic Potatoes


Growing up my step-dad grilled 2 types of chicken:  Barbecue and burnt.   I didn’t care much for burnt, but I loved barbecue. I still do and I’ve previously mentioned it would be my “last meal” request.

But I have to admit, as much I love barbecue, slathering a few legs and thighs with sauce every time grilled chicken is on the menu gets old rather quickly.  And who wants boring food. I want flavors that are bold, bright, and diverse. I want ingredients that get the taste buds dancing.

What better way to wake up a dish than by reaching in the liquor cabinet and cooking with alcohol, specifically tequila.

If you're going to drink alcohol, buy good quality

If you’re going to drink alcohol, buy good quality

I have a story or two regarding my experiences with tequila, but not knowing who reads my blog, I’ll have to pass.  Let’s just say I stayed away from the fermented agave for many, many years.

Regardless of my experiences then, its back in the household, mainly for the sipping pleasures of my wife and the occasional use in this dish (which was adapted from cooking light magazine).

Its a perfect recipe for any night of the week as it takes just under 30 minutes to make.  Its sticky and sweet like traditional barbecue sauce but your family or guests will certainly taste the difference.

As an FYI, this grilled chicken is kid friendly as cooking the tequila will remove the alcohol content, but the hint of the tequila is still present.


Not pictured, the tequila (oops)

Not pictured, the tequila (oops)

  • 6 dark-meat chicken pieces (I used 3 leg quarters)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup of tequila
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons water


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (leaving one burner on low) or set up charcoal grill for indirect cooking
  2. Mix cumin, both chili powders, and salt in a bowl to combine.  Rub on chicken.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch and water.  Set aside.
  4. In a medium sized sauce pan, add pineapple juice, tequila and honey.  Bring to a boil. This will be the glaze for basting on the chicken.
  5. When glaze begins to boil, lower heat to simmer and cook until reduced (about 10 minutes).
  6. Add the cornstarch liquid to the reduced glaze, stirring constantly to thicken the glaze.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice, lime zest and red pepper.
  8. When grill is heated, place chicken on the hottest part of the grill and cook 5 minutes each side.
  9. After 10 minutes, move the chicken to the cooler part of the grill and baste with glaze.
  10. Continue basting the chicken on both sides every few minutes while the chicken continues to cook.
  11. Cook until chicken reaches internal temperature of 160 and juices run clear.


Tequila Lime Chicken

Tequila Lime Chicken

  1. July 8, 2012 at 9:54 am

    This looks really yummy! I look forward to trying the recipe. Thanks!

    • July 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Thanks for checking out my blog. Be sure to stop back and let me know what you think.

  2. July 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm


    • July 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      Great summary of my thoughts after I ate it. Thanks for checking out my blog!

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