Cuban Mojo Grilled Chicken with Cashews
1 whole fryer chicken, cut up
2-1/2 quarts water
¼ cup Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Italian herb blend
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
In a large saucepan, combine brine ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place the chickens into a clean container and cover with the brine. Let sit for minimum of 8 hours, refrigerated, and up to three days in the brine. Drain off the brine, allow the chicken to sit in a colander until all liquid has drained off.
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 habanero pepper, stemmed
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons cumin
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped cashews, toasted
Place the garlic, habanero, salt and cumin in a blender. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until hot. Pour the oil into the blender cup, and process until garlic and pepper are minced. Let cool ten minutes, then whisk in the juices and vinegar.
To serve, place the chicken on a well-oiled grill, skin side down, over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes, then turn 45 degrees to mark the skin. Season the flesh side with salt and pepper and baste with 1 tablespoon of garlic mojo. Turn the chicken over and baste with another tablespoon of the mojo. Season with salt and pepper and cook for an additional two minutes. Transfer to a 450º oven and roast until the chicken is done in the center.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Baste the top of the chicken with another tablespoon of mojo. Coat the skin with the cashews, and serve.
Recipe & photo courtesy ¡OBA! Restaurant in Portland, Oregon.
Achiote-Marinated Chicken Wrapped in Banana Leaves
¼ cup annatto seeds
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons ground cumin
¼ cup dried oregano
1 tablespoon black pepper
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup orange juice
8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds total)
3 large banana leaves
4 plum tomatoes, cored and sliced
1 red onion, sliced
To prepare the marinade, begin by placing the annatto seeds in a blender and turning on high until the seeds are ground. It’s all right if the powder is not evenly ground—just try to get it as fine as you can.
Place the remaining marinade ingredients in the blender and puree until all the ingredients are well blended into a paste. Remove the marinade from the blender jar and set aside.
Place the chicken breasts in a large resealable plastic bag (you may need to use two) and pour in the marinade. Make sure to coat the chicken well with the marinade. Press out as much air as possible from the bag, seal it, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, or overnight.
To prepare the banana leaf packets, first use kitchen scissors to cut eight pieces of banana leaves, each approximately 12 inches by 12 inches. Reserve any extra scraps of leaves to make ties.
Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator. Lay a banana leaf square in front of you, making sure the shiny side is facing up. Place the chicken breast, with marinade still clinging to it, in the center of the leaf and top it with 3 or 4 slices of tomato and several onion slices.
Fold one side of the leaf over the chicken. Overlap the opposite side over the leaf. Fold the two ends in toward the center and place the package on a baking sheet seam side down. Tear a long strip from an extra piece of banana leaf and tie it around the chicken-stuffed package to secure it. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Heat your grill to high (550°F) and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-high (450°F) and continuing. Place the banana leaf packets on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 25 minutes. The leaves will turn dark brown and have a burnt appearance. They will also begin to give off a smoky scent.
Pile the banana leaf packets on a serving platter and allow your guests to serve themselves and unwrap their packages.
Reprinted with permission from "Latin Grilling: Recipes to Share, from Argentine Asado to Yucatecan Barbecue and More" by Lourdes Castro, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
2 tablespoons red chile paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 4 oranges
4 tomatoes, sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 large or 2 small banana leaves
1 whole fryer chicken, cut into serving pieces
Mix the red chile paste, garlic, salt and orange juice until well combined. Let chicken marinate in this mixture for a minimum of two hours. Pierce chicken with a fork to help moisten meat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken on banana leaf and top with tomatoes and onions. Dot pieces of butter on top. Wrap banana leaf over chicken and turn over so the weight of the chicken keeps the leaf closed, or tie it up with oven-safe string. Place wrapped chicken on the top rack of grill over a large pan filled halfway with water. Steam for 60 to 90 minutes depending on the size of chicken pieces. Refill water pan as necessary.
Recipe & photo courtesy Hacienda Petac, Yucatan, Mexico.
Grilled Duck Breast with Fruity Jerk Salsa
½ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon whole celery seeds
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
1 duck breast, halved
Stir together vegetable oil, garlic, celery, salt and pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for one hour or overnight if possible. Preheat grill to medium heat. Remove duck from marinade, and grill duck skin-side down until crispy. Turn breast over and finish to the desired doneness. Serve with salsa on the side.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 tablespoons watermelon, diced
2 tablespoons ripe plantain, diced
2 tablespoons papaya, diced
2 tablespoons pineapple, diced
1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tablespoon chives, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
In a small bowl whisk together the oil, garlic and lime juice. Add the fruit, chili and chives. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe & photo courtesy LaSource Resort & Spa, Grenada
Stuffed Pepper Chicken, or Uruguayan Pamplona
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices ham
4 slices smoked bacon
2 whole roasted red bell peppers
1 cup grated mozzarella
Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic film and pound to a uniform thickness. Season chicken with garlic powder, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover each breast with 1 slice ham, bacon, 1⁄2 red pepper, and sprinkle with 1⁄4 cup cheese.
Roll up chicken and secure with toothpicks. Wrap in aluminum foil to create a tight roll.
Oil the grill and cook over medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook until grill marks register. Let rest for 3 or 4 minutes and cut on the diagonal.
Recipe reprinted from Knack South American Cooking, by Liz Caskey 2010 ©. Published by Knack, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT www.lizcaskey.com She is partner of Liz Caskey Culinary & Wine Experiences a luxury operator based in the region offering culinary and wine journeys in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru.
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 pounds total)
1/3 cup cornmeal
½ of a 1-1/4-ounce package taco seasoning mix, 2 tablespoons
1 4-ounce can whole green chili peppers, rinsed, seeded, and cut in half lengthwise, 6 pieces total
2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into six 2x1/2-inch sticks
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro or parsley
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 8-ounce jar fresh salsa
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
Fresh cilantro sprigs and/or cranberries
Place each chicken breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound lightly into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. In a bowl combine cornmeal and taco seasoning mix. Place egg in another bowl; beat lightly. For each roll, place a chili pepper half on a chicken piece. Place a cheese stick atop chili pepper near an edge. Sprinkle with some of the cilantro or parsley, black pepper, and red pepper. Fold in sides; roll up jelly-roll style.
Dip rolls into egg and coat with cornmeal mixture. Place rolls, seam sides down, in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle chicken with shredded cheese. Serve with taco sauce or salsa. If desired, garnish with cilantro sprigs and/or cranberries.
Recipes & photo courtesy of Southern Explorations.
Char-Grilled Margarita Chicken
¼ cup lime juice
½ teaspoon agave syrup
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
Tequila Cilantro Lime Sauce
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup apple juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon agave syrup
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, 4 ounces each
Mix marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Marinate chicken for at least 1 hour.
In the meantime, stir together the juices, cilantro, and agave syrup in a small bowl. Set aside. Char-grill marinade chicken breast. To serve, top with cilantro lime sauce and goat cheese.
Recipe & photo courtesy of Chef Dale Van Sky of Red Mountain Resort, Ivins, Utah. www.redmountainresort.com
Grilling doesn't have to entail a big hunk of beef (not that there's anything wrong with that). Go with one of these poultry dishes and leave a little room for dessert.