Grilled chicken thighs with Cuban “Mojo” sauce

Chicken, garlic, cumin, oregano and tanginess of lemon, softened with the sweetness and aroma of oranges… That’s what this dish is about – Cuban Mojo chicken!

Mojo is a tangy and aromatic sauce, and it’s great with chicken or fish! This time I used boneless chicken drumsticks, but this is perfect also for the boneless chicken thighs – the steps are absolutely the same.

We will need:

  • 8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to season the chicken

For the Mojo sauce:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8-9 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup orange juice, ideally freshly squeezed as well
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Let’s start with the Mojo.

First, heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan and fry the garlic until very lightly golden. Do not over-fry – it’ll make the sauce taste bitter!

Once the garlic is ready, we pour in the liquids – lemon juice, orange juice and water… Now this needs to be done carefully. Adding water based liquids to hot oil may result in splashing – that’s the reason we need a deep saucepan.

Add the seasoning – salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and bring to boil.

Then let cool to the room temperature, add the chopped coriander, whisk and set aside.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Brush the chicken with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and grill 6-7 minutes per side until nicely browned and internal temperature reaches 70C (160F).

Serve with the sauce either a side, or poured over the chicken!

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