Lemon-Garlic Chicken Taco with Mezcal

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Preparation info

  • Makes


    small tacos.
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Amor y Tacos

Amor y Tacos

By Deborah Schneider

Published 2010

  • About

We like to think that marinades impart flavor, but in truth most contribute only moisture and salt, while the fresh tastes of herbs and citrus are lost in the cooking process. The solution? Toss the meat with all those great flavors after it’s cooked. This sauce is pure spicy-lemon-garlic flavor; it can also be served on the side. Traditional salsas are vegetable-based, but more and more, Mexican cooks are expanding their horizons and creating sauces like this one, a variation on a Caribbean mojo sauce. Thanks to travel, immigration, and the Internet, Latin and South American cuisines are becoming better known in Mexican cities.


  • 4 large boneless chicken thighs, with skin on
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 small serrano chile, minced
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ lime
  • teaspoons mezcal or blanco tequila
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 12 (4-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 1 avocado, diced, sprinkled with a little salt


  1. Preheat a cast-iron sauté pan over medium heat. Toss the chicken thighs with the oil. Starting with the skin side down, cook the thighs until the skin is very crisp. Turn and cook them until done. Sprinkle the crisp skin with a little salt. (The chicken may also be roasted, skin side up and uncovered, in a 375-degree oven until well-done and golden-crisp.)
  2. When the chicken is cooked, slice it thinly or dice it. Place it in a bowl and toss it with the garlic and serrano chile, ½ teaspoon salt, and a couple grinds of fresh pepper. Squeeze the lime and lemon juice directly over the chicken, add the mezcal, and stir in the cilantro. Serve wrapped in the warm tortillas with lettuce and avocado.