Margarita-Brined Chicken Thighs

  • Author: Our Best Bites


Boneless skinless chicken thighs marinated in this citrus-infused brine are incredibly juicy and flavorful.



  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup silver/blanco (clear) tequila (or 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange, lemon, or lime juice or a combination of the two)
  • 34 oranges
  • 34 limes
  • 3 tablespoons orange zest (you can use the oranges listed above)
  • 3 tablespoons lime zest (you can use the limes listed above)
  • 1 cup orange juice (you can juice your fresh oranges or use high-quality bottled juice, or a combination of the two)
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat


  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water, the kosher salt, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until smooth, then remove from heat. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. While the salt mixture is cooling, combine the cold water, tequila (or citrus juices), orange zest, lime zest, orange juice, and peppercorns. Add the salt mixture and stir to combine. Submerge the chicken thighs in the brine and refrigerate for 4-24 hours. Halve any remaining citrus and reserve.
  3. When ready to cook, preheat grill over medium heat. Lightly oil the grates, then cook the chicken thighs for 4 minutes per side. When you flip the chicken add the reserved citrus, cut side down. When cooked, remove the citrus from the grill and transfer the chicken to a serving plate. Allow the fruit to cool for a few minutes, then squeeze the grilled fruit over the chicken and serve immediately.