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Grilled mojo chicken should be on your July Fourth menu

By America’s Test Kitchen, Tribune Content Agency on

If you want to know what elevated grilled chicken tastes like, order mojo chicken from a Cuban rotisserie. The simple but lively combination of tart citrus and sweet garlic is grilled perfection.

However, try to replicate those flavors at home and you will realize that not every mojo chicken recipe is created equal. Mojo is basically a supercharged citrus vinaigrette. We set out to make one with balanced but bold citrus, garlic and herb flavors.

One of the key ingredients — sour oranges — are not readily available outside of Florida, so we had to find a substitution. We found it in a combination of fresh-squeezed regular orange juice and lime juice, plus grated orange and lime zests. To make the sauce more balanced and less bracing, we added pineapple juice. The tropical combination complemented the other flavors beautifully.

With the mojo on point, we turned to the grill. First, we slashed the raw chicken to the bone a few times so the marinade penetrated deeper and more quickly. We then started the chicken over low heat so the fat rendered and the chicken gently cooked through, and then we moved it over a hot fire for just a few minutes to crisp the skin. For an extra hit of flavor, once the chicken came off the grill, we doused it with more mojo.

When we took that first bites of the finished dish, we knew we finally had this mojo working — and that it would be a staple on our summertime cookout menus.

Grilled Mojo Chicken


Serves 4 to 6

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup pineapple juice


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