Cooking Challenge – Mexican Garlic Chicken

By / Food / August 16th, 2011 / 1

The Tidings Cooking Challenge is an opportunity for food lovers to try their hand at creating something together. Not all in the same kitchen, of course. Rather, try the recipe in your own time and then come back and tell us what you thought of it. You can add your comments directly underneath the post, or send a photo of your creation to [email protected]. Check out what others have done at Quench by Tidings.

This month we turn our attention to Mexico. That land of colour and heat has contributed copious amounts of great recipes and techniques to international cuisine. Chili, mole sauce, tortillas, tacos … so many of Mexico’s traditional dishes have become staples in cultures throughout the world. Since I answered a question recently about oregano, I thought we’d explore the Mexican variety a little further. Mexican oregano is a different variety than Italian and Greek. It’s much more pungent yet redolent with fruit and citrus. A little goes a long way. The recipe below is classic Mexican. In a country that’s sweltering for a good part of the year, citizens not only seek out spicy dishes to keep them cool, they also create delicacies that are composed of light and fresh ingredients. Mexican food is very flavourful; yet uncomplicated. If you’d prefer to use chicken breasts instead, by all means, go ahead. The meat will taste just as nice. No need to worry about potentially greasy thighs. Trim off any excess fat around the legs and thighs. Any remaining fat will melt away as the chicken grills. And yes, the recipe calls for a lot of garlic. Reduce it to 1/4 cup, if you’d like. Otherwise, go all the way and keep a package of mints handy.

Mexican Garlic Chicken
Serves 8

8 chicken legs, thighs attached
2/3 cup garlic, minced
1/2 cup lemon juice, preferably fresh squeezed
1/4 cup olive oil
2-1/2 Tb dried Mexican oregano
2 Tbsp ground pepper
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place legs in dish large enough to hold them in one single layer.
2. In a bowl, mix garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, pepper and salt. Pour mixture over chicken. Make sure that both sides of the legs come into contact with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
3. Bring chicken to room temperature. Cook on a hot grill for 20 to 25 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Serve with boiled corn on the cob and a glass of Mexican beer.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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