Cuban Mojo Chicken

Cuban Mojo Chicken –  a simple yet impressive healthy roasted chicken dinner infused with a flavorful zesty marinade made with citrus juice, garlic, and spices, then baked until the skin is crispy golden brown and the meat juicy and tender! Palo, Low Carb & Gluten free!

Cuban Roasted Mojo Chicken served over rice and beans

Send your taste buds on a tropical vacay with this Cuban Mojo Chicken recipe – a simple sheet pan chicken dinner bursting with citrus and herb flavors – think mint, oregano, garlic, lime and orange. One of my new favorite ways of enjoying baked chicken. And guess what, it’s healthy, gluten-free and even paleo-approved.

What is Cuban Mojo Marinade?

Traditionally, the base of the Cuban Mojo Chicken marinade is a mix of citrus juice, garlic, and olive oil. For this recipe, I used a blend of lime and fresh oranges together with a combination of fresh and dried herbs. The outcome is THE BOMB!

If you haven’t tried marinating chicken in citrus juice before baking you are missing out – it makes the meat so juicy. Give it some time to ensure that all these delicious Cuban flavors and aromas from the fruit juice, mint, oregano and ground spices are infused deeply into the chicken.

a baking sheet with Cuban Roasted Mojo Chicken

Trust me when I say this, you’ll become obsessed with the combination of the Cuban flavors present in the citrus marinade. The sweet and acidic ingredients balance each other out perfectly, creating a harmonious result of a tangy, fruity-sweet but also a little sour chicken.

Another bonus? Cuban Mojo Chicken is really easy to make AND easy to make ahead of time. You make your marinade by adding all the Mojo Sauce ingredients in the food processor or blender. In goes the chicken for a round of marination which can be anywhere from 4- 24 hours, depending on how organized you are. The longer, the better.

Roasted Chicken pieces in Mojo marinade on a baking sheet

 

How to make Cuban Mojo Chicken:

ingredients for Cuban Mojo Chicken Marinade in a food processor

Step 1 – Place all marinade ingredients except onion in your food processor.  Close lid.

Step 2 – Mix until cilantro is finely chopped but stop before it’s creamy and fully blended.

Chicken parts in a glass bowl covered in Cuban herb marinade

Step 3 –  Add chicken and onion to a large glass bowl or baking dish. Move around a bit if neccessary to make sure the chicken is well immersed.

Step 4 – Cover with marinade. Now, cover bowl and marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours (the longer, the better the flavors!). If you can, toss the chicken from time to time.

picture collage demonstrating how to roast Cuban Mojo Chicken on a sheet pan

Step 5 – Preheat oven to 350F/180C. On a large baking sheet, place chicken skin side down. Drizzle marinade on top and arrange orange wedges.

Step 6 & 7 – Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the chicken pieces skin side up, baste with juices and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the skin is golden brown (keep an eye on it to make sure the juices don’t start burning).

tender juicy chicken pieces roasting on a sheet pan along with orange slices

Remove from the oven, rest for 5 minutes and serve with fresh cilantro leaves and rice and beans (see recipe below).

two servings of Roasted Cuban mojo chicken legs over Cuban beans and rice

How to serve Cuban Mojo Chicken?

I like to serve this Mojo chicken with cilantro lime rice and beans. Simply mix some cooked rice with canned beans (drained and rinsed), lots of finely chopped cilantro, lime juice and zest. Season with salt to taste and it’s ready!

If you want, serve it alongside some fresh mango salsa. 

Tips & Substitutions:

  • Ideally, you want to aim to marinate your chicken for at least four hours in the refrigerator. The more time you allow the chicken to marinate the more intense and flavorful your chicken will be.
  • Cooked chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165ºf.  To do so, push the tip of your thermometer’s probe through the thickest part of the meat and pull it slowly up through the meat. Watch the display for the lowest number that it reads: that is the doneness of your chicken.
5 from 5 votes
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Cuban Mojo Chicken

Cuban Mojo Chicken -  a simple yet impressive roasted chicken dinner infused with a flavorful zesty marinade made with citrus juice, garlic, and spices, then baked until the skin is crispy golden brown and the meat juicy and tender! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Keyword baked citrus chicken, chicken in orange marinade, Cuban chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Marinating 8 hours
Servings 4
Calories 627 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs bone-in skin-on dark chicken pieces I used 4 chicken legs – thighs + drumsticks
  • 1 orange sliced
  • Fresh cilantro leaves to serve

Marinade

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/3 cup orange juice from about 2 large oranges
  • 1/4 cup lime juice from about 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves packed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large white onion cut into quarters

Instructions

  1. Place all marinade ingredients except onion in your food processor. Mix until cilantro is finely chopped but stop before it’s creamy and fully blended.
  2. Add chicken and onion to large glass bowl or baking dish. Cover with marinade. Cover bowl and marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours (the longer, the better the flavors!). If you can, toss the chicken from time to time.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  4. On a large baking sheet, place chicken skin side down. Drizzle marinade on top and arrange orange wedges. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, flip the chicken pieces skin side up, baste with juices and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the skin is golden brown (keep an eye on it to make sure the juices don’t start burning).
  6. Remove from the oven, rest for 5 minutes and serve with fresh cilantro leaves and rice and beans (see recipe below).

Recipe Notes

  • I like to serve this Mojo chicken with cilantro lime rice and beans. Simply mix some cooked rice with canned beans (drained and rinsed), lots of finely chopped cilantro, lime juice and zest. Season with salt to taste and it’s ready!
  • Ideally, you want to aim to marinate your chicken for at least four hours in the refrigerator. The more time you allow the chicken to marinate the more intense and flavorful your chicken will be.
  • Use free-range / organic chicken if you can.
  • Cooked chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165ºf.  To do so, push the tip of your thermometer's probe through the thickest part of the meat and pull it slowly up through the meat. Watch the display for the lowest number that it reads: that is the doneness of your chicken.
  •  

Recipe adapted from Spend with Pennies

Nutrition Facts
Cuban Mojo Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 627 Calories from Fat 432
% Daily Value*
Fat 48g74%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 723mg31%
Potassium 582mg17%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 642IU13%
Vitamin C 41mg50%
Calcium 72mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you tried this healthy Mojo Chicken recipe don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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posted in
Chicken Clean Eating Dairy Free Gluten free Low carb Main Dishes Meat Paleo Paleo/Primal Recipes Summer Recipes
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