Mojo grilled chicken

We all know how moody chicken breast can be; it needs to be treated thoughtfully to be palatable. With haphazard preparation, it’s like eating crumbly paper and who wants that in your mouth? No one. Grilling this tricky cut of chicken works well; the fiery char imparts its characteristic good flavor. But, honestly, I’m getting bored. So let’s take it up a notch.

Lately I’ve been obsessed with brining the chicken boob and WHOA, it’s changed my life. I’m as lazy as good cooking will allow (so I’m not THAT lazy), but after eating the fruits of the labor of brining I’ll confidently say that it’s totally worth it. Brining leaves the chicken a type of juicy I’ve never experienced; it seasons the entire thing, inside and out. I wanted to combine it with a really good mojo marinade which makes this my perfect chicken dish of the moment.

Brining does take a little time (just an extra 2 hours or so) but there is probably 45 seconds of active time so there’s really no excuse, it’s just a matter of planning. Also, be sure to use fresh herbs and citrus in this recipe. The citrus especially is a non-negotiable because bottled citrus is a food abomination and shouldn’t exist. If it’s in your house, please throw it in the garbage right now.

This is a crowd pleaser and a lovely addition to your fourth of July menu. I promise that for once, the steak eaters will be jealous of the chicken on your plate.

Mojo grilled chicken
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Ingredients
  1. Kosher salt
  2. 2 teaspoons orange zest
  3. 1/3 orange juice
  4. 1 teaspoon lime zest
  5. 1/4 cup lime juice
  6. 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, minced, divided
  7. 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  9. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  11. 1/4 cup olive oil
  12. 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 4)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, place 1/4 cup kosher salt and 4 cups of warm water. Stir the salt and water together with your hands until the salt is dissolved. Submerge the chicken breasts into the brining solution and let sit, at least 15 minutes but no more than 2 hours or the chicken will become mealy.
  2. Meanwhile, get to chopping the marinade ingredients. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the minced parsley for garnish. In a large bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together.
  3. Once the chicken is done brining, rinse each breast and place them into the bowl with the marinade and toss until each chicken breast is evenly coated. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes but up to 2 hours.
  4. When the chicken is ready to cook, prepare a gas or charcoal grill for direct-heat grilling over medium heat and oil the grill rack. Place the chicken breasts on the grill and cook, turning every so often, and closing the grill a couple times in between to continue cooking, for about 10-15 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  5. Alternately, you can grill the chicken indoors using a grill pan on the stove, or you can use the broiler setting in your oven.
Notes
  1. I like my chicken breasts a bit thinner, like cutlets, so I usually butterfly each breast prior to brining and cooking.
Adapted from William's Sonoma Weeknight Cookbook
Adapted from William's Sonoma Weeknight Cookbook
Ashley Pardo http://ashleypardo.com/
  1. Santiago Pardo

    July 3rd, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Hey Sweetheart it reminds me of the Pollo Pampero, Rancho Luna Restaurants in Cuba we used to go when we were kids.
    Grilled Mojo chicken on charcoal with Rice Black Beans, and Platanos Verdes was delicious.
    Those restaurants were in the Cuban Countryside and had a Hacienda type atmosphere outside eating,with no A/C.
    We used to spend the whole day with family sitting on big tables. Brings back very pleasant memories

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