Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Grilled Chicken Tacos

We will go out a limb here and foster the notion that summer has finally come to Minnesota. Or at the very least, I suppose, that cottonwood leafwinter is gone now – retreating rampantly into the far northern tiers of Canada and beyond. Minnesotan’s have cut their lawns now, for the first time since, well, I think since last October.  It was a very, very long winter. But the people have emerged now. And there is hope on their face. They have wagered it plausible maybe stick a tomato plant in the ground. So to have the Lilacs began to bud, poised to unleash their fragrant bouquet any day. And the leaves of the Populus deltoides, or Cottonwood tree, have formed now, down by the pond. There is the smell of green in the air again, and humidity has come with it.

I raked the crackling hardwood lump coals to the side of the old kettle grill, readying it for in-direct cooking, and admiring the utter simplicity of pleasure it is, to do such things, and not have to stave off a subzero wind chill at the same time. Something year-round grill keepers don’t take for granted. Our stoic stands at the winter pit influence even these tranquil moments, pit-side, amid the sunshine and song birds. It is paradise over coals, and a patron of the pit knows it. He knows it by the soft impression on his soul, left by lazy clouds in a blue sky, and the silently curling smoke which lifts from his grill.


I spread out some chicken thighs over a cleaned grate, opposite the hot coals. Then I dusted them over with Cajun Injector Cajun Shake, and tossed on a small chunk of hickory wood, into the fiery coals. Lid on, and top vent tweaked – it was not long before a gentle smoke began to curl. I flipped the pit radio onto the local Twins game to complete the acoustic wallpaper. Then of course, I did what all real men of BBQ do best – repair to my BBQ chair with a lovely beverage, feet up, and survey my smokey kingdom. On the grill tonight, we’re doing one of my bride’s favorites, grilled chicken tacos – POTP style.

After a suitable amount of loitering, I flipped the chicken thighs over, and hit the other side with some more of that Cajun Shake, to give the routine meat a bit more flavorful kick. Lid back on, and the hickory smoke resumes as soon as I make it back to my roost. Hard work this BBQ stuff. I settled in, listening to the baseball game, whilst watching the thin smoke curl from the grill. A routine by and far that I could become accustomed to.  The ambiance of the pit – something always missed, and then lamented over, every time a misguided pit keeper opts to cook his spoils indoors.

When the chicken is done, chop it up into man sized chunks, and consult your tortilla taco making instincts. Like a true man, I stuffed my tortilla way too full of smoked chicken, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, onions, and sour cream. And savory globs fell all which way. But who cares. Good is good, and this was good! And my pants were already dirty.


So next time you’re hungry for a taco, and want to take it to the next level, try doing them up on the BBQ. Because everything is better outside, and absolutely better off the grill.


Hickory Tinted Grilled Chicken Tacos. If a taco gets any better, you all let us know about it!

Grill on!


16 responses

  1. Pingback: Grilled Chicken Tacos | Patrons of the Pit | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

  2. These look fantastic! Will definitely give them a try. Cheers – Jeff

    May 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

  3. Yum, this looks delicious!! I have some chicken just waiting in the fridge for me to do this. Thanks for sharing!

    May 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm

  4. Liz

    Yes to summer in Minnesota (just a minute–wasn’t spring supposed to come first?) and yes to your POTP-style tacos. Everything but ice cream, then? Let the grilling season begin!

    May 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    • Yeah, not sure where spring went. I’m sure it was great tho. Grilling season? Liz…All seasons are worthy of the grill. Come on now!

      May 23, 2013 at 10:22 am

  5. debbeedoodles


    May 23, 2013 at 10:20 am

  6. Jake

    Could not agree more, guys. Always better on the grill. Even those for whom I Cut The Crusts Off would sit still for these.

    May 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

  7. I will try this and let you know how it works for me…I like the idea of the chicken thighs!!!

    May 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm

  8. Best part of the chicken, thighs. A close second is fried gizzards.

    May 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm

  9. soulcurrynrice

    Thank you.. I followed the recipe and the chicken was juicy and the tacos were delicious .It was one heck of a Sunday evening.
    Thanks again!

    August 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm

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