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Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Hello, welcome to Sunday Supper on Djalali Cooks. Our recipe today is perfect for a summer Sunday grill out. July was a wet and stormy month here in Athens and we haven’t fired up the grill in a while. So today it was fun to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, grilling some chicken for these awesome Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa. I like this recipe because it’s an interesting mashup of American style barbecue and a tropical salsa with fresh Mexican/Caribbean flavors, folded in a corn/flour tortilla with sharp cheddar cheese. Let’s get right to it!

Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Chicken Marinade

Start this a day ahead with the chicken marinade. We let this sit overnight and result was a flavorful, juicy chicken thigh. I have a local Georgia barbecue sauce that is similar to a Carolina barbecue sauce because it is not tomato-based. It’s sweet and spicy. Use your favorite barbecue sauce for this, we will thin it out with some vinegar and oil for the marinade.

I have 6 chicken thighs and I used about 1/3 cup of barbecue sauce, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Whisk that together in a large measuring cup until well combined. I put the chicken thighs into a gallon zipper lock bag and poured in the sauce. Carefully squeeze out all the air, zip it and lay it flat to coat all the chicken thighs. Lay flat in the fridge overnight.

marinating chicken thighs

Mango Avocado Salsa

The next day, take the bag of chicken out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter while we make the Mango Avocado Salsa. I have one ripe mango, one ripe avocado, about 1/4 of a medium red onion, a lime, half a bunch of cilantro and one jalapeño.

Mango Avocado Salsa ingredients

To cut the mango, slice off each cheek getting as close to the seed as you can. Score the flesh making a cross hatch pattern with a paring knife, being careful not to cut all the way through the skin. Then, fold the mango so the cut fruit fans outward. Take your paring knife and slice off the mango squares. Do this for both cheeks.

how to cut a mango

I like to try and get as much fruit as possible off the top, bottom and from around the seed. We aren’t going to be too precious with the shape of the fruit. So just take your paring and slice remaining fruit off of the seed. Then, run your knife over the pile of cut mango.

In a medium bowl, combine the onion, mango, avocado, chopped cilantro and diced jalapeño. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the salsa and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt, give another toss. Cover and refrigerate until we are ready to serve. Be sure to taste for seasoning before and after its time in the fridge. Add more Kosher Salt to taste. It shouldn’t taste salty, per-se. The salt is just there to amplify the flavors of the mango and avocado.

Head to the Grill!

We will grill the chicken thighs over high heat on a grill that’s about 500 degrees. Transfer the chicken thighs from the marinade to a rimmed sheet pan, letting excess marinade drip back into the bag. Discard the marinade. Bring a second clean rimmed sheet pan out to grill.

The thighs will grill for about 8-10 minutes on each side, until the internal temp reads 165-170 degrees. When done, transfer the grilled thighs to the clean sheet pan and let rest while we warm up the tortillas. I am a diehard corn tortilla fan, but on occasion I like these flour/corn tortillas. The have a nice corn flavor, but they’re thicker, softer and more flexible than straight corn tortillas.

Barbecue Chicken and flour/corn tortillas

I heated my cast iron pan over medium-high heat and warmed two tortillas as at time, flipping them once they begin to puff up slightly in the center. Warm up as many as you plan to serve and keep them hot in a tortilla warmer.

Cutting the Chicken

We will chop the chicken for the Barbecue Chicken Tacos. Transfer 2-3 chicken thighs to a cutting board. This is another great use for my pizza blade, but you can use a large chef’s knife too. Line up the chicken thighs and make cuts all the way down toward you. Then turn the cutting board and make the same series of cuts, to create 1/2-inch chunks of chicken.

Transfer the cut chicken back to the sheet tray and repeat with the remaining three thighs, then add those cut pieces back to the sheet pan. Warm about 1/4 cup more of the barbecue sauce in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Pour the warmed sauce over the cut chicken pieces and stir to coat the chicken in the warm sauce and remaining chicken juices.

dressing the chopped chicken

Now, gather the mango avocado salsa and the shredded cheddar cheese from the fridge and set up the spread.

Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa spread

Build the Tacos

Sprinkle some cheddar cheese along the center of a tortilla.

tortilla with cheddar cheese

Then add a few spoon fulls of chicken.

Barbecue Chicken Tacos

Top with mango avocado salsa.

Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

The great flavor of juicy barbecue chicken thighs with the tropical flavors of mango avocado salsa – it’s spicy, sweet and so perfect for a summer supper! The mango avocado salsa has great texture and so much flavor; the soft sweet mango is so juicy and it marries well with the smooth, rich avocado and the crunchy bite of red onion and spicy jalapeño. It’s super fresh and like I mentioned at the top, I love this combination of American barbecue flavor with the tropical salsa.

Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Thank you all so much for spending time with me today for Barbecue Chicken Tacos! We do love our tacos on Djalali Cooks, so if you want another taco idea with tropical salsa, check out Pork Tacos with Chipotle Pineapple Salsa. Or go in a totally different direction with Tacos Dorados. We are headed out for Tybee Island, so be sure to follow me on Instagram for some fun Tybee Time on my Stories. Take care and be well, xo Kelly

Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

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Dinner, Main Course American/Mexican
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 20 minutes + overnight marinade Cooking Time: 12-15 minutes Total Time: 35 Minutes + overnight marinade

The great flavor of juicy barbecue chicken thighs with the tropical flavors of mango avocado salsa it's spicy, sweet and so perfect for summer.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Marinade
  • 1/3 cup You Favorite BBQ Sauce (+ 1/4 cup more for topping cooked, cut chicken)
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 6-8 Chicken Thighs
  • Mango Avocado Salsa
  • 1 Ripe Mango, diced
  • 1 Ripe Avocado, diced
  • 1/4 Red Onion, diced
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • Barbecue Chicken Tacos
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 6-8 Corn or Flour Tortillas

Instructions

Chicken Marinade

1

Whisk the BBQ sauce, vinegar and olive oil together in a large measuring cup until well combined. Place the chicken thighs in a gallon zipper lock bag and pour in the sauce. Carefully squeeze out all the air, zip it and lay it flat to coat all the chicken thighs. Lay flat in the fridge overnight.

Mango Avocado Salsa

2

In a medium bowl, combine the onion, mango, avocado, chopped cilantro and diced jalapeño. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the salsa and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt, give another toss. Cover and refrigerate until we are ready to serve. Be sure to taste for seasoning before and after its time in the fridge. Add more Kosher Salt to taste. It shouldn't taste salty, per-se. The salt is just there to amplify the flavors of the mango and avocado.

Barbecue Chicken Tacos

3

Preheat grill to 500 degrees, or your grill's highest setting.

4

Transfer chicken thighs from bag to a rimmed sheet tray, letting excess marinade drip back into the bag. Discard bag of marinade. Bring an additional, clean rimmed sheet tray out to the grill.

5

Grill the thighs for about 8-10 minutes on each side, until the internal temp reads 165-170 degrees. When done, transfer the grilled thighs to the clean sheet pan and let rest.

6

In a hot pan over medium-high heat, warm the tortillas, two at a time. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

7

Transfer 2-3 chicken thighs to a cutting board. Line up the chicken thighs and make cuts all the way down toward you. Then turn the cutting board and make the same series of cuts, to create 1/2-inch chunks of chicken. Transfer cut pieces back to the sheet tray and repeat with remaining chicken thighs.

8

Warm 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Pour sauce over cut chicken and toss to coat the chicken pieces in the warm sauce and remaining chicken juices.

9

To serve, sprinkle some cheese down the center of a tortilla, add chicken, top with mango avocado salsa.

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  • Terry
    August 8, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Yumm these look amazing I’m sure they taste just as good as they look I’ll keep you posted ❤️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      August 8, 2021 at 10:36 am

      Hi Mom, Yes – they are so good! And the salsa is great for dipping tortilla chips. Let me know how you like it! xo Kelly

  • Mari
    August 8, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Good afternoon everyone! I’m a little late checking my email, so I just now found this. This totally goes on my list, and I will have to make two batches of the salsa. One for everyone to put on their tacos, and one just for me, to eat with a spoon. What a perfect summer recipe. We love grilled chicken and I love mangoes and avocados, and just thinking about them makes me happy. I would give them a special place in my kitchen, but they don’t last long enough for that. The shrine of the unknown mango would be as empty as the shrine of the missing avocado. It almost sounds like a campy British mystery, starring Tim Curry of course. Is there anyone else?

    • Kelly Djalali
      August 9, 2021 at 8:49 am

      Good morning Mari, I am late in responding as we were driving for most of the day yesterday…it’s hard to beat beautifully ripe mangos and avocados. I am sure this recipe will be hit with you and your family. And I love this idea for the mystery of the unknown mango and the shrine of the missing avocado! ? Have a great week! Talk soon, xo Kelly