Oven-Roasted Mojo Chicken
Norman Van Aken | Yield: 2-4
This highly perfumed roasted chicken is a favorite comfort food of Chef Norman Van Aken and featured in his latest cookbook, My Key West Kitchen. For best flavor, make sure to marinate the bird for two full days.
SOUR ORANGE MOJO
- 12 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Scotch Bonnet chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 4 teaspoons whole toasted cumin seeds
- 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup fresh sour orange juice
- 4 tsps sherry wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Organic Free-Range Chicken, about 3 1/2lbs
- Canola oil
- Make the mojo: in a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, chiles, salt and cumin together until fairly smooth. Scrape into a bowl, add a third of the olive oil and set aside.
- Heat the remaining two thirds of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until fairly hot, then pour it over the garlic chile mixture. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Whisk in the sour orange juice and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Season chicken all over with salt and pepper and place it in a large zip top bag. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the mojo over the chicken and seal the bag, taking care to leave room for the mojo to move around within it. Reserve the remaining mojo in an air-tight container in the fridge. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for two full days if possible, or at least 8 hours, turning the bag occasionally to ensure that all of the chicken becomes saturated.
- Transfer the chicken to a large bowl and allow the excess mojo to drip off. Discard the mojo. Truss the chicken with butcher's string.
- Pour enough oil into a large saute pan to coat the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken evenly on all sides.
- Place the bird, breast side down on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan; cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Roast the chicken for 40 minutes then turn the bird over. Check for color; if it is not browning, remove the foil for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the color and replacing the foil if necessary. The total cooking time is about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear and the interior temperature of the leg meat reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Let the bird rest on a board for at least 10 minutes. Remove the string and cut into quarters.
- Warm the reserved mojo. Serve the chicken with the mojo on the side.