These garlic lime chicken street tacos are one of my go-to dinner recipes. They’re full of flavor, easy to make, and my baby loves them. Besides the chicken inside them, they have a nice helping of fresh fruit and veggies in the mango salsa.
I want to begin by saying these are in no way authentic.
It’s simply the concept of an open-face corn tortilla taco that you could buy on the street.
Can you believe that before this last year I had never had street tacos?
I also said I didn’t like Mexican food.
Clearly, something was amiss in my life.
My husband LOVES Mexican food. So when I began cooking consistently, I tried a few Mexican food recipes and FELL IN LOVE. Mexican flavors are so fresh and bright! And the colors are just beautiful.
These street tacos are a bit more Tex-Mex meets California than Mexican, but they are still really yummy.
To start the taco process we must begin with the chicken.
To get a tender pull-apart chicken, you need to cook it inside either a Dutch oven pot or slow cooker. Technically you can use any cut of chicken and many people use chicken breasts because they’re clean and have no bones or blood to worry about. They also cook quite a bit faster. However, I personally prefer chicken thighs. They are a bit more messy and take more time, but they are also inexpensive, have the darker meat, and have a lot more fat on them. Fat is good for juicy tender meat. If you opt for chicken breast make sure to add some oil or butter to your pot. If you don’t, your meat could end up very dry and tasting like sawdust.
Put a couple tablespoons of olive oil into the bottom of your pot and layer the chicken evenly on top. Then you’re going to take some garlic salt, oregano, and pepper mix it together and rub your chicken with it. Make sure you get under the fat and skin flaps on each one if you use a cut that has some. Also make sure to use only half, you’ll use the rest later.
Juice a lime over the top then put the used lime rinds inside as well. Then, put a few sprigs of cilantro in to finish. Cover your pot or slow cooker and allow to cook for one hour on medium low if using a Dutch Oven, or 1-2 hours on high if using a crock pot.
While your chicken is cooking, make the sauce. You’ll want the flavors inside of it to have time to meld a little bit before taco assembly.
Put some cream cheese, fresh minced garlic, garlic salt, and milk into a blender, or the cup for an immersion blender. Blend until smooth. Then add a handful of cilantro and blend again. Cover and put your mixture into the refrigerator. If you can even do this the night before and let the flavors sit, you will be doing yourself a HUGE favor.
Once your chicken is cooked, allow it to cool and shred it with your fingers. Thighs have a lot of extra bit of bone and cartilage that you need to feel for, and you can’t do that with forks. Now, hit the meat again with your spice mixture. This is done more to taste so don’t dump it all in at once. Add a little at a time to make sure it’s how you like it.
To make the salsa, dice up an avocado, a mango, and half of a pepper. Toss it with some lime juice and garlic salt.
Now grab your corn tortillas. Very lightly brush the sides with butter and fry on medium high heat until golden to dark brown patches appear.
Layer the chicken on the tortillas with sharp white cheddar, mango salsa, and garlic cilantro sauce.
Here's What You Need:
- 2-2.5 lbs chicken thighs, (4-5 pieces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice, juice from one lime
- Lime halves
- 4 teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- Sprigs of fresh cilantro
- 2 mangos
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded
- lime juice
- garlic salt
- sprigs of cilantro
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- sprigs of cilantro
- Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
- 8-10 White Corn Tortillas
- Butter for tortillas
Here's What You Do:
- In a small bowl mix together garlic salt, oregano, and pepper for a dry rub.
- Rub half all over chicken, making sure to go underneath any skin or large fatty flaps.
- In a large dutch oven or slow cooker, add olive oil and layer chicken on top. Add lime juice, the halves of the lime, and cilantro sprigs.
- If using a dutch oven, cook on stove on medium low heat for one hour. Or if using a slow cooker, cook on low for 2-3 hours.
- While chicken cooks, make the sauce.
- In a blender, or cup for an immersion blender, combine cream cheese, lime juice, garlic, garlic salt, and milk. Blend until smooth.
- Add cilantro sprigs. Blend again until smooth.
- Store in refrigerator so flavors can meld until service.
- When chicken is cooked, allow to cool and shred with our fingers. Dispose of an bones, fat, and skin. Add the other half of the garlic salt, oregano, and pepper.
- For the salsa, dice the mangoes, avocados, and pepper. Finely chop the cilantro and mix together in a small bowl.
- Add lime juice and garlic salt to taste.
- Very lightly butter both sides of each tortilla and fry in pan on medium high heat until large brown patches appear.
- Layer chicken on tortillas with white cheddar, salsa, and sauce.