I love to BBQ! Chicken thighs are my go-to protein because my son loves it, it is more forgiving than chicken breast, and it brings the flavour! Now, chicken thigh tacos are my preferred way to taco. I am not a huge red meat eater, although I do make a mean steak taco!
During the Canadian summers a BBQ is really the only piece of equipment I, as well as many Canadians, use come dinner time. It’s quick, easy and there are fewer dishes to be done saving time for more fun in the sun.
In the Okanagan we normally have 3000 hours of sun per year but considering our summer began with plenty of rain, locals are seizing each day with the constant reminder that winter is coming.
This week I decided to experiment with chicken thighs. Now that I am back at work I have about 30-40 minutes to make dinner for my fam of 3. I take a protein out of the freezer in the morning to defrost which gives me some time to conjure up what I should make. I get home and play outside with my son for about an hour until 5:00 pm…then it is business time. I must make dinner.
This recipe came to me on the spot. I planned to make veggies (whatever I had on hand) as a side and the chicken thighs as a main dish but after I tasted the BBQ chicken I realized I wanted it in a taco. But also that I would warm my taco on the BBQ. Less clean up for dad!
Everything in this recipe requires a BBQ, however, you could easily substitute an oven to roast it or even a campfire – ’tis the season!
I decided to pair this dish with a delicious Sauvignon Blanc from CedarCreek winery. The fresh herbacious notes of bell pepper compliment the grilled veggies, light spice and a sprinkle of lime over top.
8 chicken thighs (bone in & skin on optional)
2 tbs dijon mustard
1 tbs honey
4 tbs fajita rub (store bought or make your own below)
8-10 small tortillas
butter or oil to brush on tortillas
Preferred taco fixins; salsa, cheese, sour cream, etc.
- Fajita Rub
1 tbs chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
- BBQ Roasted Veggies
1 large or 2 medium zucchinis cut into medium coins
2 bell peppers cored and cut in 1/2
sea salt and pepper to taste
- Prep BBQ & Chicken Thighs
- Turn your BBQ on and achieve a temp of approximate 450˚ F-500˚ F. Note, cooking time may vary with each BBQ, campfire and so on.
- Meanwhile, using clean hands, coat the chicken thighs with dijon mustard and honey.
- Rub fajita spice mix onto chicken thighs and set aside.
- Core and half bell peppers. Place directly onto grill once it reaches temp.
Slice zucchini into medium coins and place in a cake pan lined with tin foil for easier clean up. You can add other veggies like carrots, squash, onions, corn, etc. as well if you prefer. Whatever you have on hand will work.
- Once BBQ has reached desired temp lower the dials to medium and put chicken thighs skin side down on the top rack. It is important not to have it directly on the grill otherwise it will burn. If you don’t have a top rack you be sure that your grill is at a lower temperature (350˚ F- 400˚ F).
- Place the cake pan with your zucchini and veg beneath your chicken thighs so that it collects the fat drippings.
*Note, you can add frozen corn 1/2 way through cook time to this mixture as well! Or add fresh corn 10 mins before done.
- After approximately 10-15 mins of cooking time flip the chicken over ensuring the drippings land into the cake pan of veggies. Put scorched bell peppers in with zucchini and veg. Mix well. Veg might stick but rest assured if the pan collects enough of the drippings they will come off the foil easier when done.
- After 15-20 minutes more of cook time check your thighs & ensure an internal temperature of 165˚ F. Remove chicken and veggies from BBQ and set aside to cool. This ensures the juciest chicken!
- Brush soft shell tacos with butter or olive oil on both sides. Place on BBQ. Do not walk away! These brown quickly. Once it is as toasted as you prefer on one side, flip to toast the other.
- Cut bell peppers and chicken into strips and top with crispy chicken skin (if you opted for skin on chicken thighs). Dress your taco with veggies and your preferred toppings. Enjoy!