The last 10 years or so has seen a real resurgence in barbecuing, smoking and generally cooking over wood and charcoal. It has transformed the way we think about American food, it's not all burgers and hotdogs. The barbecue pit masters of the Southern States have gained global recognition for their skill and dedication. This is true 'slow food', made with passion, love and care for the ingredients.
This Cuban Mojo marinade is one of my favourite Somerset Foodie sauces. It raises the BBQ bar from dried out old meat to something spectacular. It's spiced with chipotle, garlic and orange which makes for mouthwatering chicken. Cooking this on a barbecue is fantastic, but roasting it in your oven will also give you an amazing result.
I've gone for the spatchcock approach as the chicken will cook more evenly, faster and you can cram more flavour into every exposed part. It's slightly more complicated on the BBQ, so you may prefer to joint the chicken or simply buy drumsticks and thighs.
The longer you can marinade your chicken for, the better. If at all possible, try and marinade the chicken overnight, but don't worry, if you only get 2-3 hours, it will still be lovely.
Ingredients for Cuban Mojo Chicken
1 x Whole Chicken
½ Bottle Cuban Mojo Sauce
1. It's pretty straightforward to spatchcock a chicken. Using a sharp knife, you cut down each side of the backbone and remove it. Then you press down using the heel of your hand to flatten it out. If I'm pushed for time, I have just cut straight through the back bone from the middle of the parsons nose, not bothering to remove the back bone - it still works well.
2. Score the legs and the thighs of the chicken, quite deeply and then lightly score the breast meat. Rub the Cuban Mojo Sauce all over both sides of the bird, making sure it gets well coated. Leave to marinade.
3. I have one of those barbecues that has a domed lid which are best for cooking a whole chicken. Light the barbecue normally (I find that instant lighting charcoal bags lose their heat too fast, so traditional charcoal is best). Once the coals are hot, push them all the way over to one side. Place the chicken on the BBQ on the opposite side to the coals and close the lid. This is known as the 'indirect heat method', the barbecue is filled with heat and smoke and gently roasts your chicken. You'll need to turn the bird over pretty regularly at the start (when the BBQ is still really hot). It should take about 35-40 minutes to cook, but will vary depending on the heat of your BBQ.
4. Once cooked, leave for 5 mins to rest and tuck in....yumm.
Foodies don't forget to tag us on your social posts if you make this at home! Enjoy.
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The beauty of making a paella - NO STIRRING! Get it on and go and do something else, the results are stunning. There are so many variations of this Catalan classic and (just like a risotto) there are so many different ingredients that you can use. When by the coast, fish and shellfish rule, the further inland, chicken, rabbit, sausage are the key. To make a good paella, there are a few things that you need to get right, the rest will take care of itself.
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