So I had planned to make chicken tacos with pico de gallo. I started chopping up all the ingredients and realized I didn’t have any cilantro! Since cilantro is one of the main ingredients in my pico I thought I was in trouble. Then I saw a bunch of fresh basil in the veggie drawer that I had forgotten about. Basil instead of cilantro? Why not? The longer the chicken marinates the better. Serves 4
- 5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 3 limes, one zested and juiced, one peeled and chopped, and one in wedges
- 10-12 basil leaves, chopped, divided
- 1 T. canola oil
- 1 t. cumin
- 1 t. chili powder
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped
- salt and pepper
- 4 scallions
- 1 C. cherry tomatoes
- Corn or flour tortillas
- grated cheese, lime wedges, tomatoes, and scallions for serving
Make the marinade: Combine 3 cloves of the garlic, the lime zest and juice from one lime, half of the basil, the oil, cumin, and chili powder and some salt and pepper in a shallow baking dish. Add the chicken thighs, turn to coat in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight- the longer the better.
Make the Pico de Gallo: In a food processor, add the rest of the garlic, the peeled, chopped lime, the rest of the basil, the jalepeno, the scallions, and the tomatoes. Pulse until coarse and combined. Taste for and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Grill the chicken on a grill or in a grill pan. Heat the grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill the thighs for four minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing across the grain.
Serve the chicken with warm tortillas, the pico, and your favorite taco toppings. We like scallions, lime wedges, cheese, and tomatoes.