This Cuban Mojo Chicken has been marinated in a wicked Cuban Mojo marinade and roasted to juicy perfection. Try this zesty, garlicky Cuban chicken for dinner tonight!
If you’ve never tried a marinated Cuban chicken before, you’re in for a real treat!!! Made with orange juice, cilantro, garlic, lime, mint and cumin powder, oregano, salt and pepper, it’s loaded with fresh flavours, it has depth, and complexity. It’s garlicky, it’s citrusy, the beautiful flavours of fresh cilantro are absolutely knock out.
And the secret ingredient in this? Orange juice. NO it doesn’t taste like orange once cooked!
Orange juice is such a terrific secret ingredient in marinades. It adds sweetness and more layers of flavour than just adding sugar. I’m actually not a fan of fruit with meat, so I can honestly promise you that it does not taste like orange!!
Look at the colour of that marinade. You just KNOW it’s loaded with spectacular flavours!!
Mojo marinade is fantastic to use for shrimp, chicken, pork and beef, cooked in all manner of ways – stove, BBQ, roasting, broiling.
The only method I do not recommend is the slow cooker or Instant Pot because this type of marinade really benefits from caramelisation of some form throughout most of the cooking time. So while many slow cooker recipes can be blasted at the end in the oven to brown it, I find it doesn’t really work with Mojo.
My personal favourite proteins to use with Mojo marinades are pork and chicken. I really think they are sensational when paired with the Mojo flavours.
For this particular recipe, I used drumsticks and bone in chicken thighs. I like using these cuts because they need to be roasted for around 50 minutes, giving it plenty of browning time to really let those flavours develop.
It will work with chicken breast too, but I’d sear the chicken on the stove instead of roasting it. That way the juices will seal in much better, and you’ll get the lovely browning on the crust. :-)
Little get ahead tip to make your week a little easier – freezer prep! Coat chicken in marinade then put it straight into the freezer.
Then the chicken marinates while it’s defrosting overnight in the fridge. Perfect!!! :-)
This easy Cuban chicken is one meal you’ll want to make over and over again. Tender juicy chicken loaded with delicious flavor, this Mojo chicken comes out perfectly tender every time!
Cuban Mojo Chicken
- 2 pound bone in chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks about 8 pieces total
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup cilantro leaves lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ⅓ cup orange juice fresh
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 ½ tablespoon fresh mint leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 orange cut into wedges
- cilantro leaves for garnish
- Place the marinade ingredients in a food processor. Blend until the cilantro is finely chopped.
- Pour the marinade over chicken in a large bowl. Cover with cling wrap and marinate for 12 – 36 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place chicken in a baking pan, and scrape in residual marinade in the bowl. Place thighs skin side DOWN. Add orange wedges, if using.
- Bake chicken for 30 minutes. Remove and turn chicken. Spoon over pan juices.
- Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the skin is nicely browned. Rest for 5 minutes then serve!
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Prepare for supper tonight… only 10 minutes prep time…
Oops, while reading the instructions marinate for 12 – 36 hours.
Might want to add some clarity on the prep time.
Thanks for noting Johnny, we’ve updated to include the Marinating Time.
This looks soo good, can’t wait to try it. But I really want to know where I can get the recipe for the rice and black beans it was served with in the picture also!
I don’t have a recipe for that Nicola. Enjoy the chicken!
Can I give it more then 5 stars. This is a must try recipe, it is delicious
So glad you loved it!
wow you should never marinade chicken that long with that much citrus
We used this recipe for my husband’s Havana Night Themed birthday party. The marinade was great! However, you are not going to get that nice crisp look to your chicken. I marinaded the chicken over night, we used thighs and legs, and baked it the next day as described. The chicken was cooked through, but looked boiled. I quickly stuck it in the broiler and that did the trick (that’s the only reason I did not give it 5 stars). Everyone said the flavor was great and enjoyed the chicken. So if you decide to use this recipe, don’t stress, grill it to give it a nice char or put in under the broiler :)
Really easy and simple to make, amazing flavors and pleased a big mixture of people. I chopped a whole chicken up which worked just as well in the marinade. Juicy tasty chicken! I chucked some chopped peppers in with the chicken in the last 25 minutes of cooking time. Will definitely make again.
One of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever made… I used chicken breast. Browned in skillet then transferred to ninja air fryer to finish cooking. Reduced the marinade in the skillet to use as dipping sauce. AMAZING! Served with fried plantains as a side. Loved it!! Thank you for the recipe!!
Oh boy, that sounds so delicious Kortni! Thank for sharing.
In the cuban mojo por chicken, cubans don´t use neither cilantro nor mint.
Feel free to leave those out Ramon. Thank you for letting us know!
Really good. I made this with brussel sprouts and butternut squash which I marinated also. Husband loved it. It was a tad bland for me but I will just add more spice next time. All in all great flavor and came out beautiful and crispy
Made this for a potluck at work. I didn’t bring any home. Everyone raved and wanted the recipe!!!
I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed by your co workers Crystal!
I am lucky enough to obtain a Mojo Marinade already made. It’s made by a company named GOYA. I think you can get it at WALMART. Look in their Latin Amer. food section.I love to use Mojo to marinate Beef heart chunks.You can grill them on skewers. They are wonderful.
Thanks for the tip Elbert! I will b looking for that the next time I go to Walmart!
Excited to make this exact recipe (bone-in thighs and legs) for a group of 30 this weekend. How do you recommend I keep it warm for 2 hours before serving? Can it just stay on low in a crock pot or low in the oven covered? Thanks!
I haven’t tried keeping this recipe warmed for 2 hours. According to the FDA, you’ll want to keep warmed food at at least 140°F to be foodsafe and they do suggest a slow cooker. Just keep an eye on the temperature. Let us know how it goes!
HUGE hit! I learned so much with this recipe. (1) I used the “roast” feature on my convection oven and it made it brown/blacken like your photo. When I used bake, I had to then broil it for a bit to get that blackened look. (2) I cooked uncovered for the 50 minutes -basting, but then turned the oven to 100 degrees and covered the pan with tin foil and left in the oven for 2.5 hours. Took it out to serve and it was so yummy, not dry and still very hot-safe! (3) I really liked how the parchment paper looked with the oranges. Plus keeps aluminum off food.
I’m excited to try this with chicken breasts bone-in and see how it is different. Thank you! It was so wonderful to see empty plates piles with bones at our event and lots of compliments.
I’m so happy to hear you loved this chicken Nicole! Thank you for sharing your great tips!!
Thanks Nicole, This is the first time I made this dish and also used a convection oven on roast. It was reassuring and I like that 100° will keep it warm without drying it out.
Thank you for the recipe :)
Easy to prepare and it was delicious ! I just marinated for 1 hour as i didn’t have much time.
Thanks Natasha, glad it worked out for you!
My Sophomore had a group presentation for Cuba. They had a lot of different elements they had to hit and one was a dish/food from the country they were presenting. I helped and made this (after the group searched and found the recipe on their own). It was SUCH A HIT!! Everyone LOVED IT!!! I made enough for the class, plus an extra 12 or so pieces and my son came home with it all gone!! The teacher loved it, and is now asking for the recipe!! So awesome!!! Thank you!!! They got an A+ with this element getting a 10/10!
Thank you so much for sharing Crystal! I am so glad that this recipe was a hit with your sophomores presentation!
Mine doesn’t get dark and crispy. Did I miss something?
I can’t say for sure why yours didn’t get crispy. Did you bake skin side down first?
Same for me, Missy. I had to broil it after.
Hello I am going to make this in a couple days. Would this work with boneless chicken breast or bone in breast? I don’t think a bone in breast will cook good on stove top. Would it be good in oven on 325 or 350 work with a lid on Dutch oven? I was thinking it may have a great carmalized look in oven.
To make with chicken breast, follow the recipe to marinade. Then cook on the stove instead of the oven – cook over medium high heat. I have not tried with bone-in breast. Let us know if you try it. Enjoy!
Very yummy! I didn’t make it perfectly (missing the mint) but still SO delicious.
So glad you loved the chicken!
hi, how do I do it with drumsticks?
This recipe is made with thighs and drumsticks. It will work perfectly with just drumsticks! Enjoy Mary!
Hi there just want to ask if it’s ok for grilling I will use chicken breast…thanks
To make with chicken breast, follow the recipe to marinade. Then cook on the stove instead of the oven – cook over medium high heat. I haven’t tried grilling, so let us know if you try it. Enjoy Kurt!
So good and so easy!! We did this for a dinner party with tostones and black beans and rice. Everyone loved it. You can even double it and do two pans at once, just make sure you rotate so all the chicken gets crispy. Thanks so much!
So glad everyone loved this recipe Deb!
Looking at the photo of the cooked chicken, is the baking pan lined with parchment?
Yes, it’s lined for easy clean up. :) Parchment is optional.