Biting into mojo roasted chicken is like tasting a bright sunny day. The flavors of orange and lime – both the juice and zest – dominate, infusing flavor into the chicken and swirling into an irresistible sauce. This is a meal for a day when you crave more flavor in your life. Why eat the same old plain roasted chicken when you can eat mojo chicken instead?
The sauce makes itself while the chicken roasts, the citrus juice and chicken drippings swirling into a rich, slightly sweet, and savory sauce spiked with plenty of garlic. The chicken is surrounded by onion and lots of colorful bell peppers, making it a one-pot meal.
Roasting a whole chicken in this Cuban-inspired marinade is a great way to go, but you could just as easily use the marinade for chicken pieces or a whole pork roast.
Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour to marinate, plus 1 1/2 hours to prep and cook
1 whole chicken
1 orange, zest and juice
2 limes, zest and juice
10 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (7 ml)
1 teaspoon cumin (5 ml)
4 tablespoons coconut or olive oil, divided (60 ml)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds baby bell peppers, quartered, (900 g) or 3 large bell peppers, sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth (120 ml)
Fresh oregano or cilantro for garnish
To make marinade, combine orange zest and juice, lime zest and juice, garlic, salt, cumin and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of oil in a blender. Blend until garlic cloves are finely chopped.
Truss the chicken (tie the legs together). Put the chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it. Seal the bag and marinate the chicken at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, turning the bag several times to coat all parts of the chicken.
Preheat oven to 450 °F (232 °C).
In a large Dutch oven or other ovenproof pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of oil on the stove. Add the onion and sauté until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, sauté a minute or two more, and then add the broth.
Put the chicken in the Dutch oven, breasts down. Pour the marinade into the pot as well.
Roast in the oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and turn the heat down to 400 °F (204 °C). Continue to roast, breast side up, 35 to 45 minutes more until the chicken is browned on top and a thermometer inserted in a thigh reads 165 °F (74 °C).
Let the chicken rest and cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into it.