Using a quick and easy marinade, this Cuban Mojo Chicken recipe is tender and juicy, every bite having a complex flavor of herbs, citrus, and spices. The citrus caramelizing on the grill makes the skin crispy while keeping the meat mouthwateringly delicious, it is equally delicious roasted whole in the oven with roasted halves of oranges to squeeze over the top at the end. This Mojo Sauce is perfect with chicken, pork, and seafood, it has a complex depth of flavor that works great with the smoke from the fire.
In Cuba, Cuban Mojo Sauce uses sour, bitter oranges as a main ingredient in the marinade. Bitter orange or Seville oranges are typically used, I don’t have either of these in the shops where I live so I use the zest of the orange to help complement the juice and give it a little more of the authentic flavor of bitter orange.
Mojo Sauces originated in the Canary Islands, and you can find the influence in recipes ranging from Portugal to the Caribbean, to the Southern USA. The cumin, fresh oregano, garlic, and citrus all complement one another and make a really great grilled chicken. You’re going to love this chicken, and it pairs perfectly with my Cuban Mojo Potatoes!!!
Here’s my Cuban Mojo Chicken recipe.
- 1 Oranges, zest, and juice
- 3 Limes, zest, and juice
- ¼ Cup Fresh Oregano, loosely packed
- 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro, loosely packed (Parsley is ok if you’re sensitive to Cilantro)
- 6 Clove Garlic, crushed and chopped
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Cumin
- 1 3-4 Pound Chicken
PROCESS, to Grill:
-Combine all the marinade ingredients in a blender and process until smooth
-Place chicken breast-side down, with the legs towards you
-Using kitchen scissors or shears cut along either side of the backbone to remove it, save the backbone for stock
-Break the wishbone with your knife
-Turn the bird breast side up and just press down with the palm of your hand to make it lay flat.
-Make a shallow incision at the joint between the drumstick and thighs
-Make a shallow incision at the joint between the wings and breast
-Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour on the marinade, ensure your cover the chicken completely. Marinate at least one hour and up to 24 hours.
-Pile the charcoal on one side of the grill, you don’t want the chicken to be directly over the flames.
-Place the chicken skin side up on the grill with the legs closest to the flames, but again, not over the flames
-Cover the grill and roast the chicken for 30-45 minutes, until and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and the breast, reads 165F
-Wrap in foil, let rest for 10-15 minutes
PROCESS, for Oven Roasting:
-Truss the chicken and place in a large freezer bag. For trussing instructions go ‘HERE’
-Combine all Mojo Sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well
-Pour the Mojo Sauce into the freezer bag with the chicken and coat the chicken well
-Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, 24 hours is best
-Preheat oven to 375F
-Remove the chicken from the bag and pour the Mojo sauce over the chicken
-Place chicken in a roasting pan, (line the pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up)
-Roast for 20 minutes
-Rotate pan and roast another 20 minutes
-Continue to rotate every 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer reads 165F in the thickest part of the thigh and the breast, but not touching a bone.
-Remove from the oven once it reaches 165F, brush lightly with olive oil, cover with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes.