Looking for a new way to spice up taco night? Look no further than this winning recipe by San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez. Hernandez marinates boneless chicken thighs in orange juice, lime juice, garlic, salt, minced cilantro, and achiote paste for several hours. Our test kitchen gave the simple-to-prepare marinade rave reviews, saying that it gives the chicken a delicious spicy flavor and also makes it very tender. A simple citrus marinade keeps the chicken tender and infuses it with bright, sunny flavor. Achiote paste is a fragrant, deep red spice mixture that includes oregano, cumin, and allspice. Hernandez pairs the grilled chicken with warm tortillas and a salsa made with grilled pineapple, jicama, and cilantro for the perfect blend of flavors and textures. Serve this simple Mexican supper with tortilla chips and homemade guacamole. You're next taco night or summer cookout will be a huge hit. So fire up the grill, grab a cool cocktail, and enjoy the summer weather. Chicken on the grill doesn't get better than this!

Johnny Hernandez


Credit: Wynn Myers; Prop Styling: Lauren Smith Ford

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
3 hrs
3 hrs 45 mins
Serves 8


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place chicken thighs in a large ziplock plastic freezer bag. Process orange juice, lime juice, garlic, salt, minced cilantro, and achiote paste in a blender until smooth. Pour over chicken; seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill 3 hours.

  • Preheat grill to medium (350°F to 450°F). Place pineapple slices on oiled grates, and grill, uncovered, until slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Chill 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on oiled grates, and grill, covered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°F, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Remove from grill; cover with foil while pineapple chills.

  • Dice grilled pineapple; toss with cilantro leaves and jicama.

  • Slice chicken, and divide among warmed tortillas; top tacos with pineapple mixture. Serve with limes and salsa.