Charred Mexican Seasoned Chicken Thighs (Gluten Free)


May brings us a few holidays to celebrate! With Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day, you could have quite the lineup of gluten free food this month! Do you have a tradition for celebrating any of these days? I think these Charred Mexican Seasoned Chicken Thighs (Gluten Free) are going to be a new tradition with their burst or flavor!

Cinco de Mayo celebrations

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo has been a favorite since our kids were little. We kind of have an obsession with Mexican food and culture. Traveling to Mexico is another obsession of ours! We have some favorite places to eat in San Jose del Cabo, where we usually stay. 

~ San Jose Del Cabo is one of our favorite places to visit in Mexico ~

You can go all out for Cinco de Mayo or just take a relaxed take on the meal. Whether you choose to decorate or not or just how fancy you decide to decorate. Do you want to have a pinata? They are fun for kids and adults alike! Load them with candy and toys for a little surprise. Hitting a pinata is super entertaining, by the way.

Will you serve some tropical or fruity mocktails or cocktails? Or serve traditional Helados Mexico ice cream bars of all flavors (the mango and pineapple are so good)! To have a fantastic fiesta you can decide these things ahead of time.

You can have a drink area with all the fun mocktail or cocktail making ingredients. Put out tropical juices in carafes, pitchers, or ball jars. Bowls of cut up limes and lemons, edible flowers, or dehydrated citrus are all nice additions. Have a selection of sparkling waters, ginger beer, Fever Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit, or other fizzy drinks. I try to always have some gluten free drink options. Both the Fever Tree Ginger Beer and the Fever Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit do not contain any gluten, although they aren’t certified gluten free. Be sure to put any alcohol away from little hands. Floral Ice cubes or floral juice ice cubes are great fun, too.

What to serve?

I love to make carnitas with a huge pork shoulder or do a chicken verde for tacos or tostadas. Shrimp tacos are another one that are always a hit. But you can honestly keep this simple and it will still be just as fun and just as delicious. 

Today, I made chicken tacos using these Charred Mexican Seasoned Chicken Thighs while on a budget! The meat was only $3.00! It made enough for five large tacos and we still had some to put on a pizza that night! 

These easy, inexpensive tacos were a hit! They require ingredients that I generally have on hand. Also, the marinade can be on them for as little as twenty minutes and they still have great flavor.

The simple how-to for these Charred Mexican Seasoned Chicken Thighs

To start, I made the marinade and poured over four very large bone-in, skin on chicken thighs. The marinade is simple. Stir together lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, Ancho chili pepper, smoked paprika, garlic, and oregano. I turned them in the marinade for just a few minutes before placing them on the hot grill skin side up. I grilled over medium high heat (the temperature got to about 550 degrees which was hotter than I originally planned). After about 3-5 minutes, turn to have the skin side down. Next, I let them cook for about 8-12 minutes without turning until they were quite charred. Finally, I turned them over to finish cooking on the first side. 

After about 28-35 minutes total cooking time, they were to temperature. I like chicken thighs to come to about 177-180 degrees F. They are still plenty juicy at this temperature and also super tender. Bone in chicken thighs can finish cooking between 35-45 minutes, but like I said the grill was very hot. 

The charred skin!

I removed from the grill and let them sit for a few minutes while I fried my gluten free corn tortilla shells in a small amount of vegetable oil.

I cut the meat off the bone, in large pieces, then sliced it. The charred portion of the skin was so good. You definitely could have removed the skin before cooking, but they wouldn’t be as moist. We also loved the charred taste.

What to serve these delicious chicken thighs with?

Serve the Charred and Mexican Seasoned Chicken Thighs (sliced) in soft or fried gluten free tortilla shells with a thin layer of refried beans, chicken, cheese of your choice, salsa or pico de gallo, cabbage or a cabbage slaw, and avocado or guacamole. I love to serve fresh fruit also. Melons, cucumber, and pineapple are great served in small cups. The cups with tall strips of the fruits can be prepared early, which is always nice. Let guests add chili and lime, if desired.

For more Mexican flared dishes or desserts, search Mexican and you’ll find a wide array of dishes from Pork Pozole Rojo, to Creamy Flavor Loaded Guacamole (Gluten Free), to Gluten Free Churros – a lighter, airier variation of the traditional churro.

Charred Mexican Seasoned Chicken Thighs (Gluten Free)

Perfectly seasoned and charred, these are great sliced for tacos or burritos or served with potatoes or rice.
Servings 2 -3 people
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinate time: 20 minutes to 2 hours/ Cook time: 28-35 minutes 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 gas or wood fire grill


  • 3-5 large bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, gf
  • ½ teaspoon Ancho chili powder, gf
  • 1 teaspoon crushed oregano, gf
  • 1 large clove garlic or 2 small, minced or crushed or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, gf
  • teaspoon Kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • teaspoon black pepper


  • Add the lime juice, oil, smoked paprika, chili powder, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper to a bowl and combine. Add the chicken pieces to a medium bowl and pour the marinade over. Stir and flip over in the marinade. Marinate for 20 minutes or up to two hours. If marinating for more than thirty minutes, cover and move to the refrigerator.
  • Remove from the refrigerator, 30 minutes before grilling. Heat the grill to high. Turn down to medium and add the chicken thighs, skin side up. Grill for about 3-5 minutes. Turn over (so the skin side is down). Cook for 8-12 minutes more, until the chicken skin is charred to your liking, turning the grill down as needed. Turn over and finish cooking until a instant thermometer registers 177-180℉ (for a total of 28-35 minutes).
  • Remove from the grill. Slice meat from the bone, then slice in cubes or slices or serve in whole pieces with potatoes or rice, avocado and lime wedges.
Course: Main Course, main dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bone in chicken thighs, charred, chicken thighs, mexican chicken thighs

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