Tapatio Marinated Chicken, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Tapatio Marinated Chicken

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Fire up the broiler! This marinated chicken with tapatío hot sauce is a quick and easy way offer a delicious dinner.

For a quick weeknight meal, I use my broiler. I find that many people avoid using their broilers because they are not sure about cooking times. One thing I will say for sure is that you should never, ever leave the  oven unattended when using the broiler. If there are no pets or small children around, I would even suggest leaving the oven door slightly open. It gives you a better view of how quickly your food is cooking. The ingredients for this recipe are basic items that most of us have in our pantry. If you find yourself out of fresh limes or lemons, just add a little vinegar in place of it. Any hot sauce will work for this recipe, as long as it’s not too spicy. I just happened to love the flavors of Tapatío hot sauce and use it quite often to season different recipes.


  • 1/3 cup Mexican-style hot sauce (I used Tapatio)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons separate
  • Juice of 2 key limes or 1 regular lime; plus more lime for garnish
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano plus 1/3 teaspoon separate
  • salt to taste
  • 2 pounds chicken boneless, skinless thighs or breast; if the chicken breasts are too thick, butterfly them (slice them open to make two pieces)
  • 1 red poblano pepper (if not available, use a red bell pepper), sliced into rings
  • 1 green poblano pepper sliced into rings
  • 1 medium sweet onion sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

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  1. Whisk all the ingredients listed for the marinade together, taste for salt. Pour half of the marinade over chicken and coat evenly. You can marinate it for a few hours, but I broiled it as soon as my prepping was done.
  2. Slice your peppers and onions and set aside. Line a baking sheet with foil paper. Transfer the chicken to lined baking sheet. Position the top rack in oven so it’s 10 inches from broiler. Turn on high and preheat for 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer chicken to top rack, directly under the broiler. Broil the chicken for 18 to 22 minutes, turning and basting with extra marinade a few times. Chicken thighs are done when internal temperature read 160 degrees F and 150 degrees for chicken breast. At least this is what works for me.
  4. While chicken is broiling, saute the onions and peppers in a little olive oil at medium heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the reserved oregano and vinegar. Saute until soft, but still crisp. Remove from heat. When chicken is done, remove from oven, tent loosely with foil paper and let sit for 6 to 8 minutes before serving. You can serve whole or slice thin against the grain if making tacos. Squeeze on fresh lime juice before serving chicken.

Chef Notes

Prepare your marinades a few days ahead when you can. This will allow the marinades to really infuse all their flavors.

Whenever you have a recipe that calls for basting, make sure you separate your basting sauce and brush and only use it for that purpose. This will prevent any cross-contamination.


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