Sunday Suppers: Delicious Cuban Chicken

Delicious Cuban Chicken

This crispy skinned, brightly flavored chicken makes me happy. It reminds me of sunshine and warmth. What gives it the amazing flavor is the Cuban style Mojo marinade made with lots of garlic, fresh cilantro, bell pepper and the juice of orange and lime. Citrus based marinades make an excellent choice for poultry whether roasted or grilled. Since grilling is sorta off limits, roasting makes all the sense. Who said winter food can’t be fun. I am warning you, this is one super flavorful and juicy chicken.

Delicious Cuban Chicken

First start by butterflying the chicken. It’s pretty simple. Place it on a cutting board breast-side-down. Working from the cavity opening up to the neck, cut down each side of the back bone with a pair of kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Then open the chicken like a book. Turn it over and press gently on the breast bone to flatten. If you’re not sure how to do this, internet is full of videos on the subject.

Delicious Cuban Chicken

Create the Mojo by blending garlic, cilantro, cumin and bell pepper with the juices of fresh orange, lime and a little olive oil. But before spreading it all over the chicken make sure to season your bird with lots of salt, dry oregano and adobo powder (sold in the international foods isle of your grocery store). Be sure to add some sliced onion for that extra goodness. Allow the chicken to marinade for at least 2 hours. I prepared everything in the morning and by dinner time it was perfectly marinated, about 6 hours. This is a good dish to make on Sundays, but don’t let it stop you from preparing everything the night before. The longer the better.

Delicious Cuban Chicken

Oh! Good luck fighting fingers from trying to steal all the crispy skin. My husband is notorious for that.

Delicious Cuban Chicken

A butterflied chicken cooks a lot faster and because I cooked it in a skillet all that fabulous juice accumulated right at the bottom. Pour it over rice, veggies or whatever your heart desires, it’s pretty amazing. I also made a delicious sofrito rice and beans to go along my  Cuban Chicken and let me tell you both Briana and Kurt were in foodie heaven. Briana said that I am the best “Cooker” ever. :) I think she meant cook. Kids say the cutest things.

I’ll be sharing the recipe for the rice on Monday so be sure to check back.

Delicious Cuban Chicken

Delicious Cuban Chicken

Happy almost weekend!!!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Mojo
 
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Ingredients
  • ¼ orange bell pepper
  • 9 garlic cloves
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • juice of one lime
  • juice of ½ orange
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Pulse all the ingredients in a blender. Store in a glass jar until ready to use.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Sunday Suppers: Delicious Cuban Chicken
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • One whole chicken
  • 1 tbsp adobo powder
  • ½ tbsp oregano
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • salt
  • prepared Mojo (recipe above)
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken on a cutting board breast-side-down. Working from the cavity opening up to the neck, cut down each side of the back bone with a pair of kitchen shears.
  2. Turn the chicken over and press on the breast bone to flatter.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Generously season the bird with salt, adobo and oregano. Top with onion slices.
  5. Transfer to a glass dish and coat well with Mojo on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and marinade for at least two hours or overnight.
  6. To roast the chicken, set into an oven proof skillet. Do not cover.
  7. Roast until internal temperature is 165 degrees. It took me about 1½ hours, but this will vary depending on the size of the bird.
  8. Before carving allow to rest for 10 min. Enjoy.

 

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Meatballs in Sun Dried Tomato & Mushroom Gravy

“Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen”

Meatballs in Sun Dried Tomato & Mushroom Gravy

Meatballs simmering with sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms and a touch of cream served over pasta is a dish I can eat any day of the week. Saucy pasta is a weakness of mine but it must be creamy and rich but not heavy. While this dish is indulging it is lighter on the calories and only contains a little cream, fat free half & half to be exact. Creating a healthier dish is not about eliminating good ingredients, instead it’s about finding healthier alternatives and adding lots of flavor.

Meatballs in Sun Dried Tomato & Mushroom Gravy

Meatballs in Sun Dried Tomato & Mushroom Gravy

Every cook has their favorite meatball recipe and all swear their meatballs are the juiciest. Some use veal, others beef, I however, prefer the meatloaf mixture for a truly juicy meatball. Fresh herbs and basil pesto transform these meatballs from ordinary to delicious.

A small container of sun dried tomatoes keeps fresh in the fridge for a long time. I like adding them to my recipes for the extra flavor boost and my latest addiction is sun dried tomato hummus with spicy red pepper flakes.

Meatballs in Sun Dried Tomato & Mushroom Gravy

Next time you’re in the mood for meatballs skip the traditional spaghetti and meatballs in marinara and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Meatballs in Sun Dried Tomato & Mushroom Gravy

Happy Monday!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Meatballs in Sun Dried Tomato & Mushroom Gravy
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For meatballs:
  • 1½ lbs meatloaf mix
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp dry onion powder
  • 1 tsp dry italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp dry basil
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp basil pesto paste (store bought, Amore) optional but strongly encouraged
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup fat free half & half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form into meatballs, place in a fridge until ready to use.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, cook pasta according to package instructions.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet, carefully add meatballs and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Using a slotted spoon remove meatballs to a plate. Set aside.
  5. To the same skillet add mushrooms, onion and garlic and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in sun dried tomatoes and chicken stock. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  6. Return meatballs to the skillet. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in half & half and parmesan cheese. Cover and simmer another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve over penne.

 

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Roasted Chicken with Chorizo & Red Onions

Roasted Chicken with Chorizo & Red Onions

As it gets colder outside, the switch in my brain goes into oven mode to cook as many dishes in the oven as possible. The combination of the smell that fills the house, the ease of cooking and the heat from the oven is hard to resist. Just like the grill that works overtime in the summer, the oven does a lot of my cooking in the winter.

Roasted Chicken with Chorizo & Red Onions

This chicken, unlike other roasted chicken recipes, starts out on the stove. I like to get a golden crust on both sides before transferring it to the oven. While the chicken is the star of this dish, it gets a lot of flavor from its new best friend, the chorizo sausage. The smoked spanish chorizo can be purchase at your local supermarket, usually by the deli counter. I like using it a variety of dishes, especially with beans and fish. This was my first time combining it with chicken and the result was nothing short of delicious.

Roasted Chicken with Chorizo & Red Onions

A fresh Caesar salad with homemade Caesar dressing and homemade croutons is a perfect accompaniment to my chicken. I’ll be sharing the recipe with you  for my homemade Caesar dressing soon, be sure to check back. It’s so good, you’ll never want to buy the store kind again.  Small pasta like orzo, quinoa or couscous are also wonderful sides especially since there is a lot  of juice at the bottom of the pan.

SONY DSC

I used a beautiful organic whole chicken that I cut up myself, but thighs and drumsticks make an excellent choice as well. Don’t forget to season well with salt and pepper.

Roasted Chicken with Chorizo & Red Onions

Have a fantastic weekend.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Roasted Chicken with Chorizo & Red Onions
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 whole small chicken, cut up into pieces
  • 1 large red onion, cut in half and sliced thick
  • 2 smoked spanish chorizo links (i used Goya brand), sliced into ½ inch rounds
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning
  • zest of half orange
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a deep oven proof skillet or a cast iron pan.
  3. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Sear on both sides until golden brown. Don't worry if it's not cooked through, it will finish in the oven.
  4. To the same pan add chorizo, red onion and garlic (arranging it around the pan). Season with italian seasoning, more salt and zest of the orange.
  5. Pour in the stock, transfer to the oven and cook until the chicken is fully cooked (165 degrees) about 35 minutes.

 

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