Chicken Adobado Street Tacos Recipe

Next time that hankering for street tacos hits there's no need to hop in the car and drive downtown — not once you have this recipe for chicken adobado street tacos. Marinated chicken is grilled to perfection and served simply on a warm tortilla with chopped onion, cilantro, and a dash of hot sauce. This dish has all the delicious flavor of your favorite chicken street tacos, and it's a breeze to grill up in your own kitchen.

Advertisement

The heart of this recipe is the adobado marinade. Olive oil keeps the chicken thighs juicy, while a blend of spices adds a bold aromatic flavor and fresh orange and lime juice add sweetness and zing. After a few hours of marinating and a few minutes on the grill, you have yourself some truly excellent taco filling.

The best street tacos are simple. When the meat is deliciously marinated and grilled for that little bit of char, you don't want to dress it up too much or you'll miss the smoky, spicy savor of the meat. Street tacos are typically served with just a warm corn tortilla (steer clear of the hard taco shells for a traditional experience), a bit of hot sauce, and verdura, a mixture of chopped onion and cilantro. With this recipe, your backyard grill can be quickly transformed into the hottest taco joint in the neighborhood.

Advertisement

Gather the chicken adobado taco ingredients

For the chicken in this recipe, you will need olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, fresh oranges, and limes, all of which you'll combine to marinate the boneless and skinless chicken thighs. To serve you will also need white onion and cilantro as well as corn tortillas and Mexican hot sauce. 

Advertisement

Step 1: Make the marinade

Add the olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt to a large bowl and mix well.

Step 2: Add the citrus

Squeeze in the orange juice and the lime juice.

Step 3: Coat the chicken

Add the chicken and stir to coat.

Step 4: Marinate the chicken

Push down the chicken to submerge it in the marinade, cover, and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Step 5: Heat up the grill

Bring a grill or grill pan to high heat and add the chicken.

Step 6: Grill the chicken

Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side, until cooked through and lightly charred.

Step 7: Rest the chicken

Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.

Step 8: Make the verdura

While the chicken is resting, make the verdura by stirring together the onion and cilantro.

Step 9: Chop the chicken

Chop the chicken into ½-inch chunks.

Step 10: Time to eat

Serve with warm corn tortillas, verdura, and Mexican hot sauce.

What is verdura?

Verdura is a Spanish word that directly translates to "vegetable." When it comes to street tacos it specifically refers to the condiment used in this recipe: a mixture of chopped onions and cilantro. Lime juice is also sometimes added to the mixture to supply a hit of acidity, though this reduces the lifespan of the mixture, so lime wedges are often served on the side instead.

Advertisement

Onions and cilantro serve as the perfect accompaniment to just about any variety of street taco (though if you're genetically predisposed to dislike cilantro, you can skip it). A typical street taco is served as a warm tortilla stuffed with your choice of meat, be it chicken adobado, chorizo, carne asada, or al pastor. While a taco stand may have other condiments, such as sliced or pickled chiles, sliced radishes, or a variety of other options, verdura is the standby. The raw onion adds a pungency that complements the meat, with the cilantro adding a cooling herbal quality.

When the taco is filled with deliciously marinated, perfectly cooked meat, you don't want to complicate it too much and muddle the flavor. Stick to a spoonful or two of verdura, a dash of hot sauce, maybe a spritz of lime, and you have yourself a perfect street taco.

Advertisement

Is adobado the same as al pastor?

The term adobado in this recipe refers to a Mexican dish that features marinated meat. The word adobado directly translates to "pickled," tracing back to a Spanish dish in which meats were cooked in a combination of stock and vinegar. In the case of Mexican adobado dishes the marinade is more typically made with a variety of spices and chiles. As you may have guessed, the word adobado is derived from adobo, a word that has taken on a variety of meanings across the globe in locations influenced by Spanish culture.

Advertisement

Filipino adobo may be the best-known dish of the name, though it bears little resemblance to the Mexican version. Filipino adobo is made primarily with soy sauce and vinegar and is a very different dish whose major resemblance is simply that it too is marinated. In Puerto Rican cuisine, adobo refers to a commonly used dry spice blend rather than a liquid marinade. Adobado is a blanket term that can be used to describe marinated foods, though this recipe is derived from the Mexican version, which relies on spices and chiles to create a flavorful marinade for meat.

Chicken Adobado Street Tacos Recipe

5 (14 ratings)

Bring the bold, simple flavors of Mexican street tacos to your kitchen with this recipe for grilled chicken adobado street tacos with verdura and hot sauce.

Prep Time
4.17
hours
Cook Time
10
minutes
servings
6
Servings
chicken adobado street taco
Total time: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the chicken
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 pounds skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • For the verdura
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • To serve
  • Corn tortillas
  • Mexican hot sauce

Directions

  1. Add the olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt to a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Squeeze in the orange juice and the lime juice.
  3. Add the chicken and stir to coat.
  4. Push down the chicken to submerge it in the marinade, cover, and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  5. Bring a grill or grill pan to high heat and add the chicken.
  6. Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side, until cooked through and lightly charred.
  7. Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  8. While the chicken is resting, make the verdura by stirring together the onion and cilantro.
  9. Chop the chicken into ½-inch chunks.
  10. Serve with warm corn tortillas, verdura, and Mexican hot sauce.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 441
Total Fat 34.5 g
Saturated Fat 8.1 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 148.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Total Sugars 2.1 g
Sodium 486.3 mg
Protein 25.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe

Recommended

Advertisement