National Tequila Day Chicken Marinade

Do you remember Applebee’s sizzling fajitas? I sure as hell do. My family are folks who consider Olive Garden and Applebee’s to be “nice” restaurants, saved only for occasions such as birthdays, graduations or promotions at work. We also did not grow up adventurous eaters. I had my first brussel sprout when I went to college, I learned to my utter wonderment when I was 13 that there were OTHER OPTIONS to cooking a piece of meat besides well done (or, charcoal, if my mom is cooking), and the piece de resistance is that I developed an anaphylactic allergy to all seafood until I was 26 due to my utter lack of exposure to it. Happy to say that after many tests and many severe reactions, I now only am allergic to only shrimp, crab and lobster. Small wins.

123 Ora

Back to Applebee’s. Picture this: I am 17, with a car I just purchased with my OWN money, and my parents feel no need to impose things like a curfew on me because I was a goody two shoes who didn’t need one anyway. It’s a Friday night and I have finally reached new levels of popularity with some of the cool girls, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I have my own car and my parents don’t ask a lot of questions. What do we do? We hit up the local Applebee’s and slid into a booth near the bar  so we can attempt to look older than we are. Spoiler Alert: we all have braces and fool no one.

Onions, peppers, orange juice and tequila for chicken marinade123 Organic Tequila marinade for chicken

After we order, we start gossiping and creating elaborate stories about the bar patrons. This goes on for about 10 minutes, talking in a scream whisper only teen girls seem able to reach, when I hear it before I have ever even seen it. The Sizzilin’ fajitas. Our server places a screaming hot cast iron of chicken fajitas in front of my friend and my Not only is this pan so hot it is literally sizzling minutes after it left the kitchen, but as someone who had just enrolled in a Culinary school part time, the presentation was perfect. Fajitas quickly become my new favorite food and I try to push them on my mother and sister weekly, who need a marketing campaign and a trial study of their closest friends and family to get them to try new things. 

grilling 123 organic tequila marinated chicken outside in summer

I haven’t been to Applebee’s in probably over 10 years. I grew up and went to culinary school, where the illusion of what a “nice” restaurant is shattered in front of my eyes. I learned how to make fajitas on my own, and dammit if they are not lightyears better than Applebee’s. The tequila in the marinade is one of the keys, but truthfully, it’s all about grilling the chicken. We have a charcoal grill, and you just can’t get the same flavor from an electric or gas grill. I think it makes all the difference. While you have the tequila out to make the chicken marinade, go ahead and make yourself a big batch of margaritas to keep in the fridge.

Grilled Tequila Marinated Chicken using 123 Organic Tequila from Wooden Cork

Check out the recipe below:

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123 Organic Tequila begins its journey to your glass as sweet juice pressed from the roasted heart of the Blue Agave. Like pulque, the sacred ceremonial drink of the Aztecs, this sweet mosto is fermented and then transformed by the careful art of distillation into the purest 100% Blue Agave tequila. Grown on the same ancient volcanic soils that once sustained the Aztecs, the agave plantations that flourish on our hacienda near the town of Tequila have been sustainably cultivated for centuries and from these pristine estate fields comes the expressive character of 123 Organic Tequila (Uno Dos Tres).

Full Recipe in Details

  • 2 large chicken breasts, about 1.25 lbs.

  • ½ red onion

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • ½ jalapeno

  • 1 T cayenne

  • 1 T red pepper flakes

  • 2 T kosher salt

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Juice of 1 navel orange

  • In a large bowl, place tequila, spices and citrus juice. Mix well.

  • Chop up red onion into chunks, crush your garlic, and deseed/cut your ½ jalapeno. Add to bowl.

  • Prep and clean your chicken breasts and add to marinade. 

  • Mix with tong to ensure the onions and garlic sit on top of chicken.

  • Put plastic wrap directly on the surface and weigh down with a small plate to ensure chicken stays submerged.

  • Let sit in fridge for at least for 6 hours, preferably overnight.

prepping a jalapeno and navel orange for 123 organic tequila chicken marinade

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