Barefoot Contessa Tequila Lime Chicken Recipe


Full of bold, punchy flavor, this awesome recipe from Ina Garten takes very little time to prepare.

What it DOES need, however, is a good long time to marinate, so you need to put it all together the day before you plan to cook it. Then just leave it overnight and allow the chicken to soak up all those glorious flavors, ready for grilling the next day!
Tequila Lime Chicken Photo

How to cook chicken breasts evenly

If your chicken breasts are not of a uniform size, pound them out until they match. This is so that they will cook in the same amount of time.
You might just prefer to pound out both breasts anyway, which speeds up the cooking time and makes sure the chicken cooks evenly. Otherwise, you might find that the thinner edge of the breasts is a little dried out before the center is fully cooked.
Jalapeño Infused Tequila Picture
Another option is to cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally. This is called ‘butterflying’ and it’s easy to do.
Just put your chicken breast on a chopping board and place your hand flat on top of it. Using a sharp knife, slice into the thicker end of the breast, moving towards the thinner end. You don’t need to slice all the way through – instead, stop just short and open the chicken breast out so that it (sort of!) resembles a butterfly.
Chicken Taco Salad Image

More tips for terrific tequila lime chicken…

  • Although this recipe uses skin-on chicken breasts, you can use skinless if you prefer. Just take care not to overcook them, as skinless chicken breasts have more of a tendency to dry out.
  • You can use any tequila in this recipe, so don’t feel you have to sacrifice your best bottle!
  • If you don’t have any fresh limes to hand, you can use bottled lime juice instead.
  • If it’s not grilling season, you can pan fry the breasts. Alternatively, sear them in the pan then finish them in the oven.
Tequila Lime Chicken Pic

Make sure the chicken rests after cooking

The recipe tells you to allow the chicken to sit for 5 minutes once it’s cooked.
Now, we understand just how hard it can be to resist temptation for a full 5 minutes when you’re surrounded by all those wonderful aromas! But it’s important not to cut the chicken too soon. If you do, all its lovely juices will leak right out! But just wait those 5 minutes and you’ll find they’ve been reabsorbed back into the meat, producing a perfectly moist and tender breast. Yay!
Mexican Street Corn Photo

What to serve with tequila lime chicken

This dish tastes great with Mexican Street CornRefried Beans and Rice, a fresh summer salad, Cornbread muffins or flavorful Mexican Rice. You might also like to slice the breasts and use them as a filling for fajitas or tacos. Or use them to make kabobs, with peppers and onions!
And why not enjoy a nice margarita on the side too!
Tequila Lime Chicken Pic

Barefoot Contessa Tequila Lime Chicken Recipe

Matt R.
This tequila lime chicken recipe comes courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa. She knows her stuff!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 1 serving
Calories 285.83 kcal


  • 0.5 cup Tequila
  • 1 cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 0.5 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 tbsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 pepper Jalapeño seeded, minced
  • 3 clove Garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 large breast (yield after cooking, bone removed) Chicken Breast boneless, skin on


  • Combine tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss in the chicken breasts. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat a grill with coals and brush the rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
  • Take out the chicken breasts from the marinade, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, and grill them skin-side down for approximately five minutes, until nicely browned.
  • Turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, until just cooked through.
  • Remove from the grill to a plate.
  • Cover tightly and allow to sit for five minutes.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature.


Calories: 285.83kcalCarbohydrates: 6.25gProtein: 32.25gFat: 8.17gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 823.67mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 2.33g
Keyword Barefoot Contessa, Chicken, Chicken Breasts, Dinners, Food Network, Grilling, Healthy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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