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Citrus & Herb Marinated Chicken Tacos

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Yields enough for 12 small tacos.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 26

The marinade for the chicken is delicious: citrusy, herby, and fresh tasting.

  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice     
  • 2 to 3 jalapeño chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbs. black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems included (about 1 cup)
  • 2 lb. chicken legs and thighs

In a food processor or blender, combine 1/3 cup of the orange juice, the jalapeños, garlic, peppercorns, and salt. Purée until the peppercorns are completely crushed. Add the cilantro and remaining 1/3 cup orange juice and purée until smooth. In a ceramic or glass ovenproof dish, toss the chicken with the marinade, rubbing it on to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Bake the chicken in the pan it was marinated in until the meat easily pulls away from the bone, about 40 minutes. Set the chicken aside to cool. Pour the juices from the pan into a bowl or cup and reserve. Refrigerate the juices so that the fat rises to the top. When the chicken is cool, remove the skin and shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

When ready to serve, skim off the fat that has risen to the top of the reserved cooking juices. Use the remaining liquid to moisten the shredded chicken as you reheat it.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : filling for one taco; Calories (kcal): 60; Fat (g): fat g 2.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 20; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 0.5; Protein (g): protein g 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 2; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 600; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 25; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Grey Crawford

I agree, this is just an awesome recipe. Will keep making it.

This was so succulent! We are dark meat lovers, and we loved this. I first found the recipe in a special Fine Cooking Weekend Cooking 2007 issue, where is was paired Pico de Gallo and guacamole. We're going to double the recipe next time around!

This is my go-to recipe for parties and weekend dinners. Very simple and every bite is more flavorful than the last. You can leave the seeds in jalapenos for a more spicy flavor...

Absolutely divine tacos! Made them last night for our own little Cinco de Mayo party and they were fabulous. Served them with all the recommended fixins and included a little sour cream as well. The marinade produced a remarkable sauce and the chicken was tasty with both the corn and flour tortillas. Bravo on this one, Fine Cooking!

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