Smoked Chicken Tacos with Grapefruit Basil Verde

 In Cheese, Chicken, Dinner, Lunch, Mexican, Summer, Under 1 Hour

Don’t be intimidated by the fancy words in the title. These tacos actually came together as a way to use up leftover chicken, basil, and green onions! They’re designed to be easy! And don’t worry if you don’t feel up to smoking chicken, you can use the sneaky way out and just add a teaspoon of liquid smoke to some oven-roasted or pan seared chicken! Heck, use a rotisserie chicken if ya like, any ole chicken will do.

However, smoking a few chicken thighs is remarkably easy if you have a charcoal grill and an hour or so. I’ve included instructions for smoking at the bottom of the recipe but the real winner of these tacos is the grapefruit-basil Verde… AKA basil green sauce.

And it’s so easy! The basil and scallion combo plus the grapefruit, lime and vinegar are a huge flavor punch that comes together in minutes, which is always a winner in my book. So whether you’re the smokin type or a lover of precooked chicken, these tacos can be on your table in no time.

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Smoked Chicken Tacos with Grapefruit Basil Verde

Difficulty: Easy

Yield: 6 Tacos
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min
For Smoking: Allow for 1 ½ Hours

Ingredients:

For the Tacos:

  • 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 6 Corn Tortillas
  • ¾ Cup Pickled Red Onions
  • ¼ Cup Feta or Cojita Cheese
  • 1 Jalapeno

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 ½ Cup Packed Fresh Basil
  • 1 Bunch Scallions
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¾ Cup Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt

Directions:

(See the bottom of the recipe for directions on smoking chicken thighs, otherwise you may substitute 1 Teaspoon of liquid smoke and your preferred method of cooking chicken)

If not using smoked thighs, you can roast the thighs at 350 Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 is reached.

To make the Sauce:

Zest the lime and the grapefruit then cut the grapefruit into eight wedges and cut the lime into 6. Cut the scallions where the green and white start to meet.

Add the green parts to the blender along with the basil, red wine vinegar, the juice of one grapefruit wedge and one lime wedge and a teaspoon of salt. Blend and add the oil slowly until emulsified. Taste and adjust as needed.

To make the Tacos:

Shred the chicken thighs with two forks or your hands, you may also cut them into cubes if you’d rather.

Slice the white parts of the scallions and saute them with the chicken, garlic salt, and paprika. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke if not using smoked thighs.

When the chicken is hot, turn off the heat and toss the chicken with the basil verde.

Warm the corn tortillas in a cast iron pan over medium heat, or wrap them in foil and warm in a 170-degree oven. Either way, they should only take a few minutes.

Thinly slice the jalapeno.

Add the chicken to the tacos and top with jalapeno, pickled red onions, and cheese. Use the remaining grapefruit wedges as a taco holder and serve with remaining lime wedges if desired. For a creamier taco, add some Cilantro Lime Sauce, or sour cream. Enjoy!

 Here is a list of the tools you’ll need to complete this recipe. If you don’t have these already, you can click on the photo and purchase it on Amazon.

  • Smoker
  • Tongs
  • Microplane
  • Blender
  • Chefs Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Large Cast Iron Skillet
  • Wooden Spoon

We keep Cleaver Cooking in business through affiliate links that you see here and we get a small percentage when you purchase an item through our links.
We do our best to recommend quality products but please note that not all products have been tested and we can’t guarantee your satisfaction.
If you already own similar items feel free to use those tools instead.

Recipe:

Smoked Chicken Tacos with Grapefruit Basil Verde

Difficulty: Easy

Yield: 6 Tacos
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min
For Smoking: Allow for 1 ½ Hours

Ingredients:

For the Tacos:

  • 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 6 Corn Tortillas
  • ¾ Cup Pickled Red Onions
  • ¼ Cup Feta or Cojita Cheese
  • 1 Jalapeno

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 ½ Cup Packed Fresh Basil
  • 1 Bunch Scallions
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¾ Cup Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt

Directions:

(See the bottom of the recipe for directions on smoking chicken thighs, otherwise you may substitute 1 Teaspoon of liquid smoke and your preferred method of cooking chicken)

If not using smoked thighs, you can roast the thighs at 350 Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 is reached.

To make the Sauce:

Zest the lime and the grapefruit then cut the grapefruit into eight wedges and cut the lime into 6. Cut the scallions where the green and white start to meet.

Add the green parts to the blender along with the basil, red wine vinegar, the juice of one grapefruit wedge and one lime wedge and a teaspoon of salt. Blend and add the oil slowly until emulsified. Taste and adjust as needed.

To make the Tacos:

Shred the chicken thighs with two forks or your hands, you may also cut them into cubes if you’d rather.

Slice the white parts of the scallions and saute them with the chicken, garlic salt, and paprika. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke if not using smoked thighs.

When the chicken is hot, turn off the heat and toss the chicken with the basil verde.

Warm the corn tortillas in a cast iron pan over medium heat, or wrap them in foil and warm in a 170-degree oven. Either way, they should only take a few minutes.

Thinly slice the jalapeno.

Add the chicken to the tacos and top with jalapeno, pickled red onions, and cheese. Use the remaining grapefruit wedges as a taco holder and serve with remaining lime wedges if desired. For a creamier taco, add some Cilantro Lime Sauce, or sour cream. Enjoy!

Tools You'll Need

 Here is a list of the tools you’ll need to complete this recipe. If you don’t have these already, you can click on the photo and purchase it on Amazon.

  • Smoker
  • Tongs
  • Microplane
  • Blender
  • Chefs Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Large Cast Iron Skillet
  • Wooden Spoon

We keep Cleaver Cooking in business through affiliate links that you see here and we get a small percentage when you purchase an item through our links.
We do our best to recommend quality products but please note that not all products have been tested and we can’t guarantee your satisfaction.
If you already own similar items feel free to use those tools instead.

Tools to help you get the job done!
For a full list click on Tools You’ll Need at the top of the recipe card.

Learn the Lingo & Pro Tips

Smoked Chicken Tacos with Grapefruit Basil Verde 6 Tacos 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt 1 teaspoon Paprika 1 teaspoon Pepper 6 Corn Tortillas ¾ Cup Pickled Red Onions ¼ Cup Feta or Cojita Cheese 1 Jalapeno 1 Grapefruit 1 Lime 1 ½ Cup Packed Fresh Basil 1 Bunch Scallions 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar ¾ Cup Grapeseed Oil 1 Teaspoon of Salt
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