This isn’t your typical roast chicken! With fresh bright flavors of orange, lime, cumin, cilantro and mint this Cuban inspired Mojo Roast is zesty and fresh!
To kick of my clean eating lifestyle shift (you can read more about this on my updated About Me Page ), I made Cuban Mojo Chicken. Not just any Mojo chicken, but a brightly flavored….zesty and juicy whole roast chicken! Mojo (pronounced Mo-ho) marinade is traditionally made with sour oranges (in this case oranges + lime, cos of availability) which gives it zesty citrus flavors and also has notes of earthiness from the cumin and oregano. Another key ingredient to the dish is lots of garlic! Although, not very traditional I added cilantro and mint to give the dish a little herb-y freshness.
This roast chicken was a great start to eating healthy, cos not only is was it easy to put together and a hearty meal with some simple sides, it also made great versatile leftovers especially when you shred up the meat. Traditionally served with rice, black beans and fried plantain, I tried to keep my meal a little healthier by serving it with a roasted sweet potato, fresh pineapple salsa and black beans. Although if you simply skip the black beans this recipe is completely Whole30 compliant and Paleo.
So here’s how you can make it.
- 1 small (4-5 lb) young Chicken
- 7-8 cloves of Garlic, peeled
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 Orange, zest & juice
- 1 Lime, zest & juice
- 1/2 Jalapeno, de-seeded
- 1 Tbsp Oregano, dried
- 2 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp smoked/sweet Paprika
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Bell Peppers
- - To butterfly the chicken: Simply cut out the back bone starting from the cavity up to the neck with a good pair of kitchen shears. Then turn the bird cut-side down and using the heel of your hand or both hands flatten the breast bone.
- - For the Marinade: Add the garlic, cilantro, mint, orange zest & juice, lime zest & juice, jalapeno, oregano, cumin powder, smoked/sweet paprika, salt and pepper to a food processor and pulse till everything is finely chopped.
- - Marinate the chicken well on both sides and set it aside in the refrigerator to marinate for atleast 1 hour or upto overnight.
- - Pre-heat your oven to 400F
- - Slice the onion & bell peppers in thick strips and layer the bottom of an ovenproof skillet/dish with them.
- - Place the chicken on top of the veggies and pour all the marinade into the pan as well.
- - Roast at 400F for 45-60 mins until the internal temperature registers 165F
- - Let the chicken rest covered for 10 mins then serve hot.
- The chicken pairs really well over rice or as a healthier option with roasted sweet potato, black beans (leave out for Whole30/Paleo) and pineapple salsa.