Sometimes you want barbecue; sometimes you want Tex-Mex. If you're ever craving both, our barbecue chicken tacos make for a satisfying summer recipe that'll tick all the boxes.
These tacos start with boneless chicken thighs, which are generally more flavorful than chicken breasts and can be more forgiving if you cook them for a touch too long. We coat the thighs in a simple barbecue rub, then cook them over indirect heat, glazing with sauce every five minutes. To caramelize the sauce and concentrate that deep barbecue flavor, we then move the thighs over direct heat until they come to temperature.
After letting the chicken rest, we chop it and pile it into toasted flour tortillas. We then go heavy on flavorful toppings, like warm BUSH'S® Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans, a red cabbage slaw, cheddar cheese, pickled jalapeños, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.
These certainly aren't your everyday tacos, but we can say with confidence that they're absolutely as addictive. The tender chicken and smoky beans offer classic barbecue flavor, while the slaw adds contrasting tanginess and crunch. Jalapeños bring a little heat,tempered by sour cream and mellow cheddar. Of course, cilantro makes the perfect finishing touch, providing freshness while also cutting through the richness of the barbecued meat.
Make these tacos just once, and we know you'll be eating them all season long.
Barbecue Chicken Tacos With BUSH'S® Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: Serves 4
For the Red Coleslaw:
1/2 large head red cabbage, finely shredded on a mandoline or by hand
3/4 cup red onion, finely minced (about 1/2 a medium onion)
2 tablespoons (30g) kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (2 1/2 ounces; 75g), divided, plus more to taste
1/4 cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
For the Chicken:
1 1/2 teaspoons (7g) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5g) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (4g) paprika
1 teaspoon (4g) chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds (700g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup (240ml) your favorite barbecue sauce
8 taco-sized flour tortillas
1 can (16 oz) BUSH'S® Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans, warmed
4 ounces (115g) Longhorn cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup (55g) pickled jalapeños
1/4 cup (60ml) sour cream
1/4 cup (7g) finely chopped fresh cilantro
1. To Make the Slaw: Combine cabbage and onion in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and 1/4 cup (50g) sugar and toss to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer to a large colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Transfer vegetables to a salad spinner and spin dry. Alternatively, transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a triple layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and blot mixture dry with more towels. Return to large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar, celery seed, and pepper. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and/or sugar. Set aside.
3. To Make the Chicken: In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, salt, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Coat chicken thighs all over with spice rub and set chicken aside.
4. Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to medium-high heat, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place chicken thighs on cool side of grill, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Brush chicken with barbecue sauce, flip, and cook for 5 minutes more. Brush chicken again with barbecue sauce, flip, cover grill, and cook until center of chicken registers 160°F (71°C) when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the thickest portion of the meat, about 5 minutes more. Brush chicken a third time with barbecue sauce and move to hot side of grill. Cook, flipping occasionally, until chicken develops light charring on both sides. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Roughly chop chicken.
5. Place tortillas on cool side of grill, cover, and warm until soft and pliable, about 1 minute. Stuff each tortilla with chicken and top with BUSH'S® beans, coleslaw, cheese, jalapeños, sour cream, and cilantro. Serve immediately.