Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

As I type this, the thermometer is valiantly trying to climb above the 40-degree mark. And I'm thinking that, as usual, I have impeccable timing ... NOT.

Sharing this recipe in July or August or even September would have been the smart thing to do. After all, that's the height of grilling season, and grilling is the genius behind these Chili Lime Tacos. But, if I look ahead to the weekend, temperatures will be on the rise. And with tailgaters firing up the grills again for another weekend of college football, perhaps the timing will rival that enviable connection between quarterback and sure-handed receiver. (That's what I'll tell myself anyway.)

Jill and Eric were actually the chefs behind this tasty meal. While they didn't serve it at a tailgate, they did offer it as supper after an earlier K-State football game this fall.
We enjoyed a meal on their back deck after the game with able table-setting assistance from a little K-State football fan. 
Somehow, sharing the recipe got lost among corn reports and hay auctions and unplanned journeys.

So when I saw the photos hanging out in my blog drafts, I decided not to punt until next summer. Chili Lime Chicken Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa was a recipe Jill found at the blog, Carlsbad Cravings. The blog has become one of her new favorites for adding new recipes at their house.

I don't use chicken regularly in my meal planning at home for a couple of reasons:
1)  We have a freezer full of beef.
2)  Randy says he's not a big fan of chicken.
However, if he orders chicken "something" at a restaurant, I always give him "the look," questioning why I so fastidiously avoid the bird on our home menu. And, for the record, he thought these tacos were mighty good.

Chili Lime Tacos 
with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

1 recipe all-purpose chili lime chicken (below)
1 recipe grilled pineapple salsa (below)
4 flour tortillas or 6-8 small corn tortillas
1/2 cup favorite cheese, more or less

Prepare Chili Lime Chicken and Grilled Pineapple Salsa according to directions. To assemble, grill tortillas lightly. Top with chicken, salsa and cheese as desired. Add guacamole and other taco toppings as desired. May serve with rice, chips, beans, etc.

Chili Lime Chicken
1 lb. chicken breasts pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
Chili Lime Rub
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder (optional for more heat)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
Lime zest from 1 lime

In small bowl, whisk chicken rub ingredients together and rub evenly over chicken breasts. Time permitting, allow chicken to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to 8 hours, then bring to room temperature before cooking.

To grill: If chicken has been refrigerated, let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. Grease and preheat the grill to medium heat, 375 to 450 degrees. Grill chicken undisturbed for 5-7 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through. (An inserted thermometer should read 165 degrees F.) Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Garnish with extra fresh lime juice, if desired.

Note:  You may use the stovetop to cook the chicken, using a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat

Grilled Pineapple Salsa
(Makes 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 ripe pineapple, trimmed and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1 whole jalapeno pepper
1/2 small red onion, peeled and cut in half
1 1/2 cups loosely-packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Grease grill and heat to medium-high heat. Drizzle red onions with olive oil and thread onto a metal skewer. Drizzle red bell pepper and jalapeno with olive oil to lightly coat.

Working in batches as needed, depending on the grill size, grill pineapple and vegetables at medium-high heat until tender and lightly charred all over, about 12 minutes for onions, turning occasionally; and about 8 to 10 minutes for the pineapple, or until caramelized, flipping once; 6 minutes for the red bell peppers, flipping once; and jalapeno for 3-5 minutes, turning occasionally.

Once cool enough to handle, dab off any excess oil on vegetables with paper towels. Devein and de-seed jalapeno pepper and dice. Chop pineapple and remaining grilled vegetables into bite-sized pieces.

Stir together pineapple and all veggies, spices and cilantro in a large bowl. Can be served immediately, but it's better chilled.


  1. Unlike your household, chicken is a regular on our menu and low and behold, our younger son found the chicken lime recipe several years ago,and shared it with us. It is such uneasy and quick meal to prepare. I'll just have to be more organised and add the salsa.

    1. I appreciated getting to try it at Jill's house! (It was even better when I didn't have to cook.)