Tequila Lime Chicken Chili

  • Currently 4/5
I submitted this recipe in a chili cook-off in 2008, it was one of the front-runners out of 20 chilies! It has layers and layers of flavor. My original recipe called for boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" cubes. I chose to use chicken thighs since they would add much more flavor than the white meat and also opted for a coarse grind so the texture resembled something more akin to beef chili. Before grinding the thigh meat, I marinate it in a mix of tequila and fresh citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, and limes) to add one extra layer of flavor. You can skip this step, if you prefer.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups onions, chopped
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, coarsley ground
4 cups chicken broth
15 ounces tomato sauce
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup tequila
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons dried basil, crushed
2 tablespoons dried oregano, crushed
4 tablespoons dried savory, crushed
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
3 tablespoons bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
2 limes, each cut into 6 wedges

In a large soup kettle, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin and coriander. Cook until onions are softened.


Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Stir in tomato sauce, paste, tequila, lime juice, cilantro, and remainder of seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally.


Remove bay leaves. Adjust seasonings if needed. Serve hot with a squeeze of fresh lime over the top.

Dish   Main DishMain Ingredient   Poultry

Dawn Knowlton

Member since Jan 2010

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