Baja Chicken Tacos & Baja Sauce

Baja Chicken Tacos & Baja Sauce


For the Chicken:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced (plus additional, see below)
  • 1 tablespoon achiote paste, powder or substitute
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, about a tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 to 1 lime, juiced

For the Corn:

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt and pepper
  • a couple of pinches of cayenne, optional

For Serving:

  • 16 corn tortillas (2 per taco) or more as needed
  • grilled corn, cut off the cob
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups crisp lettuce mix
  • 1 or 2 limes, in wedges
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Queso Fresco
  • Baja Sauce

Baja Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a little water if needed

Note, there are 1 1/2 to two limes used for the chicken, and additional lime or two for serving, and a couple of tablespoons of lime juice in the Baja Sauce. Buy appropriately, especially if the limes are “stingy.”


The Game Plan:

The chicken cooks quickly. Prepare the sauce and sides first. Add the corn to the grill first; it takes the longest, about 10 to 12 minutes. After it’s on the grill for about 4 minutes, add the chicken. In the meantime, as the corn and chicken cooks, prepare the tortillas by adding them to the grill where space is available. Heat until soft and lightly charred in areas and then remove them to a clean towel folded in multiple layers (to retain the heat and keep them soft.) As the chicken rests, cut the corn off the cob.

For the Chicken:

If using thighs, trim. For breasts, cut in half horizontally. For both, if needed, lightly pound to an even thickness. Place in a Ziploc bag. In a small bowl, mix together the oil, vinegar, lime juice and zest, the achiote paste (or substitute) the garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and cloves. Pour over chicken and marinate, the longer the better. A minimum of 1 hour is recommended, overnight is better and two days is optimum.

To cook, preheat grill over medium-high heat (it should come to 425 – 450 degrees). Pat chicken dry and cook quickly, turning as once, about 4 minutes per side. Temperature should be 165 degrees F. Remove to a plate and cover loosely. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with lime; half a lime if very juicy. More may be needed if the lime is “stingy.”

For the Corn:

Prepare and remove husks and silk. Brush with oil. Add to grill, and turn often, until warmed through, slightly softened and colored in areas. Remove and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, sprinkle with a little cayenne.

For the Tortillas:

Add to the grill and grill, turning once, until softened and slightly charred in spots. Remove to clean towel. Depending on the size of  grill, you may need to grill one or two at a time.

Baja Sauce:

In a small bowl, mix together the Miracle Whip, sour cream, lime juice, cilantro or parsley, sugar and salt, and pepper. If needed, add water, a tablespoon at a time to thin. Consistency should be almost pourable. Refrigerate until needed.


Serve chicken on double tortillas. Top with a spoonful of corn and lettuce and/or cabbage. Top with sauce and cheese and don’t forget the lime!

To Cook the Chicken in the Oven:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pat chicken dry. Add to a sheet tray sprayed with oil. Roast for about 12 minutes the first side, turn and continue to cook until temperature is 165 degrees F. Rest, lightly covered, for several minutes before cutting into bite-sized pieces.

Keywords: Achiote, Bargain Meal of the Week, Cabbage, Chicken, Chicken Breast, chicken tacos, Chicken Thighs, Lettuce, Lime, Mayonnaise, Mexican or Southwestern, Miracle Whip, Tacos, tortillas, Vinegar

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