Mojo chicken recipe that features chicken marinated in a bright and slightly sweet citrus sauce and then baked to perfection in the oven.
I haven’t got this excited about a new chicken recipe as much as I did about this mojo chicken in a while. It’s truly amazing. This recipe features a new to me Caribbean flavor profile – full of citrus notes, bright and slightly sweet. There is no added sugar here and all of the sweetness comes from oranges and onions, and grapefruit if you are substituting sour oranges. This new (for me) way of making chicken is now a staple in our home and rivals some of the most favorite family chicken recipes, like the honey garlic chicken drumsticks or honey mustard chicken thighs.
What is mojo chicken?
Mojo chicken is a Cuban chicken dish where chicken is first marinated in mojo marinade (also called mojo sauce) and then cooked. Cooked mojo chicken can then be served with more fresh mojo sauce to wake up the amazing flavors. If the chicken is baked, like in this recipe, you can serve it with the delicious pan juices and more fresh mojo sauce on top. Trust me, it’s so good that you will want a lot of this delicious sauce.
One of my favorite ways to make mojo chicken is to roast it in the oven. It’s delicious. No, wait, it’s beyond delicious. The mojo marinade flavors are spot on. There is a little tang and some sweetness from the orange juice and onions. Lots of garlic and onions bring savory flavors and aromatics. The meat is very tender and succulent. Even white chicken meat is tender and juicy and you don’t need to worry about it drying out in this recipe. And the pan juices are so good that I literally lick them off my plate.
What chicken parts are best for mojo chicken?
You can use any part of the chicken or a combination of different parts. I like taking a whole chicken and cutting it into separate parts when mojo chicken. It’s the most economical way too.
One of the biggest challenges when roasting a whole chicken is that different parts require different target temperatures for perfect doneness. Breasts are typically best when roasted to 160F, while other parts taste their best when roasted to 185F – 190F. At least that’s what my preference is. I like thighs and drumsticks baked to 185F internal temperature. Anything less and they taste under-cooked to me, the meat does not fall off the bone. But chicken breasts cooked to that internal temperature will be hopelessly dry and will taste chalky. Not in this recipe! This recipe is very simple and very forgiving.
After and hour to an hour and fifteen minutes of roasting the internal temperature inside the chicken breast meat registers around 185F and will continue to rise a bit more after you pull the chicken out of the oven. Guess what, the breasts in this recipe come out every bit as tender and juicy as the rest of the meat. The marinade does its magic. Marination makes white chicken meat juicy and tender, while baking it inside the marinade keeps it moist and juicy.
All in all, this is a 5-star chicken recipe that must be in everyone’s recipe collection. It’s that good!
What to serve mojo chicken with?
Plain white rice is a very good choice to serve with mojo chicken, and so are roasted vegetables or stir-fried vegetables. If you are looking for more of a filling, comforting side dish, try these garlic mashed potatoes, they are fantastic with this chicken.
Looking for more great chicken thigh recipes? Check these out:
- Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs
- Extra Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs
- Killer Marinated Chicken Thighs
- Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs
- 1 whole chicken (cut into 8-10 pieces)
- 2 cups mojo marinade (one recipe, link below. If desired, make a little extra of the mojo sauce to serve with chicken later)
- 1 yellow onion (large, sliced into 1/2" rounds)
- 2 Tbsp Italian parsley (chopped, or cilantro)
- 2 limes (cut into wedges)
- Spread the chicken pieces in a baking dish. Pour in the mojo marinade. Rub each peace with the marinade really well, lifting skin and getting the marinade underneath. Marinate in a fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Scatter the onion slices all over the bottom of a roasting pan, then arrange the chicken pieces on top, skin side up. Pour the marinade all over the chicken pieces and onions. Roast for about 60 to 75 minutes, or until the tops a golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Rotate the baking dish after about 40 minutes to ensure even browning.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the roasting pan and transfer to a serving platter. Add a little more fresh Mojo marinade, if you have any, to wake up the flavors. Stir the pan juices and pour them over the chicken pieces. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro and lime wedges and serve.
Hey Victor! I love your mojo marinade and have made the chicken many times. Do you have any recommendations for using with pork, besides using less oil? Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Jessie, I don’t think there is anything else. I would even use the marinade as is, without reducing oil, unless it’s a fatty cut. Someone commented about using the marinade without changes on pork with great results.
Victor, I’m guessing that a bunch of the sweetness is coming from the onions. When we do a turkey, rather than a rack in the roasting pan, we set the turkey on a bed of 1/2” onion rounds. It makes for the sweetest, most delicious gravy you’ve ever tasted.
And please keep it up. Loving the recipes.
Hi Steve, you are absolutely correct. Mentioned it in the first paragraph but not further down. An oversight. Corrected. Thanks for the complimented and for your tip on turkey. I love turkey meat. Will try your suggestion for sure, sounds really delicious.
I followed your recipe exactly and it was awesome! Turned out perfectly 🙂 Thank you!
You are very welcome, Erica!
Mojo baked chicken is one of our favorites. We spatchcock the chicken and use Goya mojo, Comes out delishish everytime. Serve with black beans & yellow rice. Spoon the pan juices over the beans & rice and top with chopped fresh onions.
I travel all around the world for work, and I tried many dishes. This one is one of the best I’ve tried. And so easy to make.
Howdy! I simply wish to give a huge thumbs up for the best chicken thigh recipe I’ve ever tried. It’s amazing!
Thank you for the compliment.
Absolutely amazing flavors. This is one of the best baked chicken thighs I’ve ever tried. Glad I decided to make them. Thank you for sharing this great recipe.
Soft. I tried to send pics but could see where to attach them.
Edit: added pictures for your – it’s amazing what you’ve done with these chicken thighs, thanks for sharing – victor
email them to me, victor at ifoodblogger dot com and I will post them here.
That chicken was amazing. I served one over basmati rice with lime and cilantro. Then I had one taco with the chicken shredded in the juices with some sautéed bok choy with the chicken juice and a squeeze of lime and cilantro. Then I did another taco the same way but put krafts lime vinegrette on it. We served it with smoky black beans. Amazing! Thanks!
Awesome! Your dish sounds so delicious that I am no dying to try it 😉 Did you use soft or hard taco shells?
What would you suggest serving with this dish?
I like white or brown rice with this dish, as well as any other grains – quinoa, buckwheat, etc. Roasted vegetables will go with it well too. Mashed potatoes would be a good option, especially topped with the pan sauce.
Great! We were thinking of doing tacos then having a cilantro lime rice on the side.
Tried this chicken recipe and was pleasantly surprised. It’s sweet and slightly tart and savory. So many flavors that all work very well together. Will be trying more of your recipes.
Thanks for your feedback, Jane. Glad you liked the recipe.