Dietitian's Choice: Havana Mojo Chicken Bowl
Mojo (pronounced mo-ho) is a Cuban marinade that typically includes oil, garlic, sometimes cilantro, and salt, but the hallmark of the sauce is the heavy emphasis on citrus - specifically sour orange. The result? Juicy, flavorful, and oh so citrusy marinade that can be used for beef, fish, or chicken and also makes an excellent sauce on vegetables, commonly used over cassava in Cuban cuisine.
This recipe for mojo chicken showcases the wonderful tangy, citrusy flavor you expect, and the chicken comes out tender, juicy, and moist. Perfect to serve with black beans and brown rice on a warm summer day, and don't forget to add baked plantains to make it the ultimate Cuban meal.
Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Makes 5 servings
- 1¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken (cut into 1½ inch pieces)
Cuban Mojo Marinade
- zest of 1 orange
- zest of 1 lime
- ½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro (lightly packed)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 mangos, diced
- 1 habanero or fresh chili, finely chopped
- ¼ cup red onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp of chopped cilantro
Cuban Roasted Vegetables
- 1 sweet Potato/Yam, diced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cassava, diced
- ½ tbsp paprika
- ½ tbsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
Cuban Baked Plantains
- 2 very ripe plantains
- 2 tbsp of oil (vegetable or coconut)
*Cuban Black Beans + Cooked Brown Rice + Cuban Roasted Vegetables + Baked Plantains + Lime Wedges
- Combine all ingredients for the mojo marinade in a bowl, stir to blend. Add chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 1 hour in refrigerator. (Recommend marinating for 4 hours or overnight for optimal flavor)
- While the chicken is marinating, prepare the salsa. Combine the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl and stir. If the mangoes are not sweet, you can drizzle a little honey in to amp up the flavor. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Recommend preparing any additional sides while chicken continues to marinate. Prepare brown rice and black beans to preference.
- To prepare the Cuban roasted vegetables preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl combine all ingredients, toss to coat vegetables evenly and place on a sheet pan. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender.
- The baked plantains can be cooked with the roasted vegetables. Cut your plantains on the diagonal into slices about ½” thick. Place them into a bowl, add the oil, and toss them gently to coat. Arrange the plantain slices on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes in the preheated oven (400 degrees F). *For super delicious plantains, turn on the broiler when the plantains have about 5 minutes of baking left. Remove them from the oven when the tops are looking nice and caramelized, even if the 5 minutes isn’t quite up!
- Cook the chicken: Heat a skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add a tablespoon of oil. Drain the chicken from the marinade and add 1/3 of the chicken to the skillet and let cook for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is caramelized on the outside and cooked all the way through (internal temp of 165 degrees F). Remove to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Assemble. Place the brown rice in the bowls. Top with the desired amount of black beans, cooked chicken, roasted vegetables or baked plantains, and mango salsa. Drizzle with lime juice and top with chopped cilantro if desired, serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts per serving (for chicken and mango salsa only): Calories: 250, Carbs: 22.5g, Protein: 26.9g, Fat: 6.3g, Sat. Fat: 1.2g, Cholesterol: 82mg, Sodium: 286.6mg, Fiber: 2.5g
Dani is the Director of Clinical Nutrition responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and evaluating clinical and nutrition education programs. She also develops and approves the patient menus at Torrance Memorial, oversees the patient kitchen, and ensures compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations. In her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing, playing tennis, and spending time with her family.
Learn more about Torrance Memorial Nutrition Services