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.
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.
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.
Oh! Good luck fighting fingers from trying to steal all the crispy skin. My husband is notorious for that.
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.
Happy almost weekend!!!
- 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
- Pulse all the ingredients in a blender. Store in a glass jar until ready to use.
- One whole chicken
- 1 tbsp adobo powder
- ½ tbsp oregano
- 1 small onion, sliced
- prepared Mojo (recipe above)
- 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.
- Turn the chicken over and press on the breast bone to flatter.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Generously season the bird with salt, adobo and oregano. Top with onion slices.
- 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.
- To roast the chicken, set into an oven proof skillet. Do not cover.
- Roast until internal temperature is 165 degrees. It took me about 1½ hours, but this will vary depending on the size of the bird.
- Before carving allow to rest for 10 min. Enjoy.