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Pilot Light Grilled Chicken Tacos


Ancho chile powder, one of the most commonly used peppers in Mexican cooking, is richly flavored, with mild heat. It’s available for purchase in many grocery or specialty stores such as The Spice Merchants ( in Lake Bluff, and Downers Grove, The Spice House ( in Evanston, Chicago and Geneva, or order online.


Yields: 12 tacos


Spice rub:

2 Tbsp chili powder or ancho chile powder

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp each: kosher salt, black pepper, cinnamon

1¼ lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast

1 lime, cut in half

12 corn tortillas, warmed

¾ cup salsa, jarred or homemade

1 avocado, thinly sliced for serving

Cilantro sprigs, for serving


1. Combine spice rub ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Remove chicken from the refrigerator. Rub both sides of chicken breast with spice rub. Let chicken sit on counter about 20 minutes; don’t grill cold meat.

3. Heat grill to medium-high. Oil grill grate. Grill chicken about 4 to 5 minutes per side, until cooked through.

4. Remove chicken from grill. Let rest five minutes before slicing. Squeeze lime juice over sliced chicken.

5. Serve with tortillas, salsa, avocado slices and cilantro sprigs.


As an alternative to grilling, heat oven broiler to high with oven rack about 4 to 6 inches from heat source. Put chicken on a shallow baking pan lined with foil. Broil about 4 to 5 minutes, per side.


Recipe by Paul Kahan, Pilot Light chef. Kahan will be doing a chef demonstration at the Good Food Festival. For more information, visit