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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Ok, so I didn’t have time to marinate it so I doubled the marinade and added a cup of chicken stock. After browning the meat in a pot, I added the marinade, cooked for about 20 minutes, and thickened the marinade with a little flour and served this over rice with air fried green beans. Ultimately, I usually make recipes work for the time I had (which also didn’t include heating the oven) so I’m reviewing based on the flavor profile. It’s a keeper!
We liked the flavor, it was an interesting combination. I used thighs but they were skinless so did not get the lovely dark caramelisation that is shown in the picture. Will have to try and find somewhere that sells skin on thighs. Will definitely make again.
As the cook of the family and having tried plenty of chicken recipes, this is now a personal & family favorite!
I sous vide everything, so I added the marinade in with the chicken while in the water bath. I then poured it from the bag over the chicken after I pan seared it like a sauce. Super delicious!
This was amazing and simple to make! I loved how all the flavors came together! Pure perfection!
So happy you loved it, Janice!
It’s me again! Soaked chicken in mojo overnight. Marinade is so good I could just do shots of it! Cooked per recipe. This is awfully good chicken. Juicy with greats hints of citrus flavor. The cilantro, garlic, oregano, and citrus does something by working so well together. This chicken didn’t have a chance once out of the oven, it was gone quick! The skin didn’t crisp up but it wasn’t even noticed, that’s how fast it was eaten. May cook at higher temp next time. The only thing I did not like…. I only made 4 pieces
You will definitely have to double the recipe next time, Mitchell! But we are so happy you are enjoying this recipe as much as we are.
Bone in thighs….with or without skin?!
Please specify in receipt. I did half and half and waiting for them to finish in the oven.
We used bone in thighs with skin for this recipe!
Can’t wait to make this! But is there a Mayo substitute? Or can I just do the mustard alone? Thanks!
Hi Kiki, for this marinade we don’t use mayo. Hope that helps.