Here is another fantastic recipe from Dinosaur BBQ restaurant – Oven Roasted Mojito Chicken. These folks make great food – I know that and visit them every time I get an opportunity. Similarly, their cookbook is one of the best I’ve ever cooked from. I have yet to find a recipe in it that disappointed me and I am known for being a tough recipe critic. The oven roasted chicken recipe is no exception. It’s delicious. No, wait, it’s beyond delicious. The Mojito marinade flavors are spot on. There is a little tang from lime juice and some sweetness from orange juice. Lots of garlic and onions bring savory flavors and aromatics. The meat is very tender and succulent. And the pan juices are so good that I literally licked them off my plate.
One of the biggest challenges roasting a whole chicken is that different parts require different target temperatures for perfect doneness. Breasts are typically best when roasted to 160F, while other parts taste their best when roasted to 175F – 190F. At least that’s my preference. I like thighs and drumsticks baked to 185F internal temperature. Anything less and they taste under-cooked to me, and the meat does not fall off the bone. But chicken breasts cooked to that internal temperature will be hopelessly dry and will taste chalky. Not in this recipe!
I was skeptical at first but being confident in Dinosaur BBQ’s skills I gave the recipe a try and followed it to a tee. After and hour and fifteen minutes the internal temperature inside the chicken breast meat registered 184F and rose a bit more after I pulled the chicken out of the oven.
Guess what, the breasts came out every bit as tender and juicy as the rest of the meat. The marinade did its magic. Baking with the marinade helped a lot too.
All in all, this is a 5-star recipe that must be in everyone’s recipe collection. It’s that good!
Recipe adapted from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse by John Stage and Nancy Radke.
- 1 whole chicken (cut into 8-10 pieces)
- 1 cup Mojito marinade
- 1 large onion (sliced into 1/2" rounds)
- 2 Tbsp Italian parsley or cilantro
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Spread the chicken pieces in a baking dish. Pour in the marinade. Rub each peace with the marinade really well, lifting skin and getting the marinade underneath. Marinate in a fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Scatter the onion slices all over the bottom of a roasting pan, then arrange the chicken pieces on top, skin side up. Pour the remaining marinade all over the chicken pieces and onions. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the tops a golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the roasting pan and transfer to a serving platter. Add a little fresh Mojito marinade, if you have any, to wake up the flavors. Stir the pan juices and pour them over the chicken peices. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro and lime wedges and serve.
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