youtube pinterest twitter facebook instagram vimeo whatsapp Bookmark Entries BURGER NEW Chevron Down Chevron Left Chevron Right Basket Speech Comment Search Video Play Icon Premium Nigella Lawson Vegan Vegetarian Member Speech Recipe Bookmark Comment Camera Scales Quantity List Reorder Remove Open book
Menu Signed In
More Nigella recipes

Tequila and Lime Chicken

by . Featured in SIMPLY NIGELLA
Print me

Introduction

This is relatively new to my repertoire but firmly established for all that. True, the tequila doesn’t exactly convey flavour, or not so that you could name it, but it sure brings fire – augmented by the chilli flakes – and tenderizes the chicken beautifully.

It was while cooking this, during an extended (work) stay at the Chateau Marmont in LA, that I set off the fire alarm. Somehow that feels entirely appropriate.

This is relatively new to my repertoire but firmly established for all that. True, the tequila doesn’t exactly convey flavour, or not so that you could name it, but it sure brings fire – augmented by the chilli flakes – and tenderizes the chicken beautifully.

It was while cooking this, during an extended (work) stay at the Chateau Marmont in LA, that I set off the fire alarm. Somehow that feels entirely appropriate.

Tequila and Lime Chicken
Photo by Keiko Oikawa

Ingredients

Serves: 4, generously

Metric Cups

For the Chicken

  • 1 preferably organic chicken (approx. 1.4 kg/3-lb, jointed into 8 pieces)
  • 75 millilitres tequila blanco
  • 2 limes (preferably unwaxed)
  • ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes (plus more to sprinkle on at the end)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 2 tablespoons regular olive oil

To Serve

  • freshly chopped fresh coriander
  • lime (cut into wedges)

For the Chicken

  • 1 preferably organic chicken (approx. 1.4 kg/3-lb, jointed into 8 pieces)
  • 5 tablespoons tequila blanco
  • 2 limes (preferably unwaxed)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (plus more to sprinkle on at the end)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons regular olive oil

To Serve

  • freshly chopped cilantro
  • lime (cut into wedges)

Method

  1. First, put the jointed chicken pieces into a freezer bag.
  2. Mix together the tequila, zest and juice of the limes, the chilli flakes, salt and olive oil, and then tip this into the freezer bag with the chicken. Seal or tie tightly (letting out the air first) and place it (on a tray or in a dish) in the fridge to marinate for 6 hours or overnight, or up to 2 days, or leave outside the fridge, but in a cool place, for 40 minutes if you’re short of time.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200°C Fan/gas mark 7/425ºF. If the chicken is in the fridge, take it out and remove the chicken pieces from the bag, reserving the marinade. Sit the chicken pieces on a smallish, shallow baking tray for about 30 minutes to allow them to come to room temperature. It’s important that the chicken pieces sit on the tray without a lot of room to spare, or else the marinade will immediately evaporate in the hot oven. When you are ready to put it into the oven, pour half of the marinade over the chicken pieces and transfer to the hot oven for 25 minutes.
  4. Take the chicken out of the oven, pour the other half of the reserved marinade over it, then put the chicken back in for another 25–30 minutes. Check it is cooked through before removing from the oven. Put the chicken pieces on a serving plate. Then add a little boiling water to the pan to help get every last bit of flavour-sticky juice out, and pour it over the chicken on its plate. Scatter with chopped coriander and – if you like it hot – some more dried chilli flakes, and serve with some lime wedges alongside.
  1. First, put the jointed chicken pieces into a freezer bag.
  2. Mix together the tequila, zest and juice of the limes, the chilli flakes, salt and olive oil, and then tip this into the freezer bag with the chicken. Seal or tie tightly (letting out the air first) and place it (on a tray or in a dish) in the fridge to marinate for 6 hours or overnight, or up to 2 days, or leave outside the fridge, but in a cool place, for 40 minutes if you’re short of time.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200°C Fan/gas mark 7/425ºF. If the chicken is in the fridge, take it out and remove the chicken pieces from the bag, reserving the marinade. Sit the chicken pieces on a smallish, shallow baking tray for about 30 minutes to allow them to come to room temperature. It’s important that the chicken pieces sit on the tray without a lot of room to spare, or else the marinade will immediately evaporate in the hot oven. When you are ready to put it into the oven, pour half of the marinade over the chicken pieces and transfer to the hot oven for 25 minutes.
  4. Take the chicken out of the oven, pour the other half of the reserved marinade over it, then put the chicken back in for another 25–30 minutes. Check it is cooked through before removing from the oven. Put the chicken pieces on a serving plate. Then add a little boiling water to the pan to help get every last bit of flavour-sticky juice out, and pour it over the chicken on its plate. Scatter with chopped coriander and – if you like it hot – some more red pepper flakes, and serve with some lime wedges alongside.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The chicken can be marinated up to 2 days ahead.

STORE NOTE: Store in fridge until needed. Transfer leftover cooked chicken to a container, then cool, cover and refrigerate within 2 hours. Will keep in fridge for up to 3 days.

FREEZE NOTE: The chicken can be frozen in its marinade – as long as the meat has not been previously frozen – for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in fridge before using. Leftover cooked and cooled chicken can also be frozen, in airtight containers or resealable bags, for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in fridge before using.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The chicken can be marinated up to 2 days ahead.

STORE NOTE: Store in fridge until needed. Transfer leftover cooked chicken to a container, then cool, cover and refrigerate within 2 hours. Will keep in fridge for up to 3 days.

FREEZE NOTE: The chicken can be frozen in its marinade – as long as the meat has not been previously frozen – for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in fridge before using. Leftover cooked and cooled chicken can also be frozen, in airtight containers or resealable bags, for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in fridge before using.

Tell us what you think

What 6 Others have said

  • Wow what a meal. Didn’t have tequila so I used vodka only used 1/4 tsp of chilli and only had 1 lime so used a small lemon as the 2nd lime. I let mine marinate for 2 days. Chicken came out lovely and moist. Thank you so much Nigella for another fantastic meal!

    Posted by bluemum_14 on 23rd February 2019
  • Love this recipe, it works all the time! Marinating the chicken overnight does let it absorb the flavors of the tequila more.

    Posted by pleejyeo on 22nd February 2019
  • Absolutely fantastic. Didn't have Tequilla so used golden rum. Let it marinate for 2 days. My was the meat moist. Another fantastic recipe Nigella and one I will be making again and again.

    Posted by ann4spain on 14th April 2018
  • This was a really great dish, chicken was so flavoursome! Made the Chilli and Ginger sauce to go with it... excellent. Thanks Nigella, another truly great recipe.

    Posted by IainJ on 19th February 2018
  • Absolutely fabulous! I halved the required chilli's and it still blew everyone's head off! This is a keeper and the leftover chilli sauce goes well with everything! Thanks Nigella!

    Posted by Soozie3202 on 26th November 2016
  • Saw Nigella make this dish on MasterChef Australia. Made it last night and my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful flavours. Definitely one to share with friends. Thanks again. Graeme

    Posted by ABBEYS on 6th July 2016
Show more comments