This zesty, brightly flavored Cuban Chicken makes me SO happy! What gives the chicken its amazing flavor is a Cuban style marinade called Mojo (pronounced moho), made with fresh orange and lime juice and their zest, garlic cloves and cumin seeds. Colorful bell peppers and onions with white wine and bay leaves line the bottom of heavy bottom pot and nestled in the center, lies the chicken. The whole thing is placed in the oven and when it comes out, the chicken is roasted golden brown, and the delicious pan sauce has been reduced and infused with the juices of the chicken and mojo. Served over Chili Roasted Yams (or simple rice) spoon the flavorful pan sauce, peppers and onions over the chili roasted yams, and place the chicken over top. Finish with fresh zest and cilantro. I hope this makes you as happy as it makes me.
1 orange- zest and juice
1 large lime- zest and juice
8 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted ( or ground cumin )
2 T oil
1 T olive oil
1 onion- sliced ½ thick rings
2 Bell peppers- sliced into ½ inch thick rings
1 Cup white wine
2 Bay leaves
extra lime and cilantro for garnish
2 Yams- ½ inch thick slices, cut in half
2 T olive oil
½ tsp chili powder
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
Marinate chicken for at least 1 hour at room temp…. or up to 24 hours refrigerated. Make marinade: Zest orange and lime and set aside. Add juice from lime and orange ( should be at least a ½ cup total ) and garlic to a blender. Add oil, salt, pepper, cumin. Blend well. Rinse and truss chicken and place in large Ziploc bag, with the marinade, turning to coat all the nooks and crannies. Let sit at room temp for one hour, turning occasionally. (Or marinate up to 24 hours in the refrigerator). In a large dutch oven, heat 1-2 T oil over medium heat. Add the onion “rings”, sauté on med high heat, stirring often until golden and just tender about 4-5 minutes. Add peppers, turn heat to med, sauté 3-4 more minutes. Add the wine, half of the orange and lime zest, the bay leaves and turn heat off. Remove chicken from marinade and set it aside on a plate or on parchment paper. Pour all remaining marinade into the pot with the onions and peppers, and give a sir. Nestle the trussed chicken breast side DOWN in the pot. Place on the lower rack of a 425 F oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, reduce heat to 400, and continue to roast until inner thigh reaches 165 F -about 35-45 minutes more.
Let rest 10 minutes before carving.
To make roasted yams, toss cut yams in medium bowl with olive oil, salt, chili powder, allspice, coating evenly. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast @ 400 F until tender, about 30 minutes. Squeeze with lime before serving.
Cut chicken and serve over roasted sweet potatoes, making sure to scoop up some of the braised peppers, onions and pan juices. Garnish with a squeeze of lime, a sprinkling of lime and orange zest and fresh cilantro.
Prep time: 15 minutes plus 1 hour marinade time Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2-4