Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Kayla
This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite Instagrammers @grillin_with_dad. The marinade is easy to assemble and packed with flavor and spice.
The main ingredient
Chicken Breast vs Chicken Thigh
Nutritionally, the calorie and macronutrient difference between a chicken breast and chicken thigh aren’t as drastic as one might think (see below), so I prefer to use a 50/50 mix for this recipe.
“Exercise? I thought you said extra thighs.” 🙂– Yours truly
Preparing the marinade
To start, prep the chicken by cutting off any visible fat. Next, pound out the thickest part of the breast meat with the flat end of a meat mallet (breasts only; no need to do this with the thighs). This will help the chicken cook more evenly on the grill and ensure the ends don’t dry out.
Pro tip: If you are easily grossed out by raw poultry, cover the chicken breast with a large cut of plastic wrap before pounding with a meat mallet. For me, it’s very comforting to know that raw chicken juice isn’t flying around my kitchen!
Next, pierce the chicken with a fork. This will help the marinade reach more surface area of the chicken.
Carefully add the chicken to the marinade. It is very liquidy, so be cautious of splashing. Gently toss the chicken in the marinade with tongs or gloved hands otherwise you might find your hands stained (and stinging!) from the chipotle and jalapeno peppers. You should end up with something that looks like this:
Cover and carefully transfer to the refrigerator. Marinate for 2-24 hours, and you are ready for the grill!
Tips for perfect grilled chicken
Whether you choose to use a gas, charcoal, or pellet grill like Traeger, chicken breast and thighs can be cooked to perfection with a few key tips.
1. Get the grill marks
Heat your grill to medium-high heat (about 450 degrees F). Arrange chicken so the pieces are not overlapping. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the flesh of the chicken looks like it’s halfway cooked through before flipping for the first time. Be patient – this is key!
To get crisp grill marks, be patient and turn the chicken only as needed – maybe a couple of times per side. This is usually enough for those beautiful charred tan lines to set in! To get the cross-cross pattern, rotate the chicken 180 degrees when flipping.
2. Use a thermometer
Ideally, a grilled chicken breast temp should reach 165F. Once removed from the grill though, chicken continues to cook, so I use a digital probe thermometer^, and remove the chicken from the grill between 155-160F. This is crucial for not overcooking!
3. Rest properly
Once removed from the grill, let the juices redistribute by resting the chicken for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This ensures that every bite will be tender and juicy. It’s worth the wait!
The final product
One of my favorite dishes to make for guests is grilled chicken tacos. This meal is fun to assemble and makes great leftovers for mid-day or late-night munchies.
I like to offer a variety of condiments, so each person can personalize their taco. Some of my go-to grilled chicken taco toppings include:
- Shredded cheese
- Non-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
- Cilantro Lime Crema from Costco – OMG the best!
- And I always serve this with my easy corn salsa recipe!
Founder of LIFe – Lose It Forever
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Spicy Beer Chicken Marinade
- 6 oz beer
- 1 7 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 limes zest & juice
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 jalapeño sliced
- 4 lbs chicken breasts and/or thighs boneless & skinless
- In a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish or large bowl, whisk together beer, chipotle peppers, lime zest & juice, avocado oil, minced garlic, and cumin. Add sliced jalapeño.
- Prepare chicken by cutting off visible fat and pounding breasts to even out. Pierce chicken with a fork and add to marinade (see above).
- Using a tongs, toss chicken until coated. Cover baking dish or bowl with plastic wrap and marinate for 2 to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook, heat grill to medium-high heat. Arrange chicken on grill being sure not to overlap. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes until chicken has apparent grill marks and looks about 1/2 way cooked though. Flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until internal temperature reaches ~155-160F.
- Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.