I’m sure you have probably guessed that there’s a Cuban theme going on here. Yes, I created two Cuban recipes consecutively and may even score a hat trick with a third, who knows?
This Mojo (Pronouced MO-HO) chicken has what I would describe as a tangy, zesty taste to it. In other words, if you’re a fan of fruit flavours, you will not be disappointed with this dish.
I originally wanted to factor in this recipe with the Moros y Cristianos, but went against my own judgement, as the pictures and instructions would be overwhelming for one recipe. I want to cater to beginners as well as intermediate cooks, it wouldn’t be fair to flood one post with copious amounts of typing and pictures. Heck, I’d probably scare any amateur readers away, no really I would and that isn’t my goal.
Considering half of my heritage originates from Cuba, I wasn’t really raised on Cuban cuisine. Now that I’m becoming a fully fledged foodie, it’s something that I’m tapping into (aside from the pork). I have visited Cuba some years ago – the home of Salsa and loved the time I spent in Havana and Santa Clara. You cannot go to Cuba without attending a salsa night and do dance – it’s the epitome of the vacation along with the warm and friendly people. The food was amazing too, very flavourful, similar to other Caribbean islands.
Let me not bore you any further with my discourse about my vacation and talk more about this meaty dish. I’m sure you’re wondering how much prep is involved, right? The only major preparation is to marinate the chicken, you’ll be pleased to know there’s no need for the meat to absorb the flavours overnight.
There’s an exception to Charla’s recommendation, three hours is suffice for all those lovely flavours to thoroughly penetrate. Here you can see the chicken in a secure zip lock bag infused with cumin, olive oil, garlic, himalayan pink salt, orange juice and lime. The key element in the marinade is the Seville orange, which lends a sour taste. Seville orange can be difficult to obtain here in the UK, so simply substitute with orange mixed with lime juice.
Once the chicken has marinated for a few hours, remove the chicken with some tongs and discard the remaining contents. Don’t worry the zesty dressing will supersede the original marinade.
Next, you’ll need to sear the chicken, medium heat is suffice. Brown both sides on a griddle or in a frying pan. This process should take no more than 5-10 minutes. Feel free to cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
While the chicken sizzles away, go right ahead with preparing the citrus dressing. The main ingredient here will be the orange juice and lime helps to create that sourness. A hint of sweetness is infused into the dressing from a dollop of coconut nectar.
Once the entire dish is ready don’t forgot to drizzle the dressing over the chicken.
Cuban mojo chicken with a citrus dressing, can serve with rice and black beans or roasted veggies.
- For the marinate
- 1tsp cumin seeds (or cumin powder)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- ¼ tsp himalayan pink salt
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice (or sour orange)
- 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2-3 large boneless chicken breasts
- For the dressing
- 2tbsp of olive oil
- 1 cup of orange juice
- 1 tbsp of coconut aminos
- 1tbsp of honey
- 1tbsp of lime zest
- 1-2 tsp tapioca starch (optional to thicken the dressing)
- Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until the flavours release. This should take roughly 2 minutes. Place the cumin seeds, pink salt, garlic and grind into a coarse paste.
- Heat the olive oil in the same skillet until very hot and pour over the paste. Give the mixture a generous stir and blend.
- Let the mixture stand for 10-15 minutes and then whisk in the orange juice and lime juice.
- Toss the chicken into a zip lock bag with the marinade, then store in the refrigerator to marinate for 3 hours.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Sear the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side until browned.
- Whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, lime zest, coconut nectar, and aminos.
- Add the mixture to a skillet over medium heat. Simmer until the dressing has reduced to a thick syrup - add the tapioca mixed with 1tbsp water if required.
- Remove from heat and drizzle chicken.
- Reserve the remaining dressing and use if needed