Grilled chicken and Vegetables with Mojo Sauce

Yarrrr! Thar be pirate cookin’ here mateys. What exactly is a mojo sauce? It’s sort of like a salsa made out of a base mix of olive oil, fresh limejuice and garlic. It’s thought to originate from the Canary Islands then come across to ocean with the seafaring pirates where today it’s enjoyed on many Cuban dishes. No two recipes seem to be the same for mojo sauces but this one is fairly typical.

3 Cups Olive Oil
2 ¾ Cups Fresh Lime Juice (around 36 fresh limes)
2 Cups Orange Juice
1 ½ Cups Chopped Fresh Cilantro
36 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons Grated Orange peel
3 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
32 Chicken Pieces
4 Large Zucchini, cut on diagonal into 1-inch-thick slices
4 Large Yellow Crookneck Squash, cut on diagonal into 1-inch-thick pieces
4 Large Red Bell Peppers, seeded, cut into 6 wedges
4 Large Yellow Bell Peppers, seeded, cut into 6 wedges
4 Large Green Bell Peppers, seeded, cut into 6 wedges
Lime Wedges and a few sprigs of Cilantro

Prepare the lime juice, chop the cilantro, peel section cloves of garlic and grate the orange peel. (To avoid bitterness make sure to steer clear of getting any of white part of the zest into the gratings). Now you are ready to put together the first ten ingredients in large bowl; whisk to blend well. You can make mojo a couple of days in advance; make sure to cover and keep it refrigerated.

For the best results marinate the chicken and vegetables at least six hours before grilling. Divide chicken among 4 heavy-duty resalable plastic bags. Divide vegetables among 4 heavy-duty resalable plastic bags.

Set aside two cups of mojo to serve as sauce; cover and chill. Split remaining mojo amongst bags of chicken and vegetables, then seal the bags. Refrigerate chicken and vegetables at least 6 hours and up to 1 day, turning bags once in a while.

Fire up the grill with some fragrant mesquite wood and let it heat up to a medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, transfer chicken from marinade to barbecue. Throw away the marinade. Grill until cooked through, turning frequently, about 20 minutes. Put on a family style platter and keep warm

Remove the vegetables from marinade to the grill and cook until lightly charred and just tender, turning regularly for about 10 minutes. Arrange vegetables around the plate of chicken . Garnish with some sprigs of fresh cilantro and lime wedges. Serve with that fantastic mojo you set aside earlier.

It makes a nice go together with black beans and rice , Cuban style.

Warning: This recipe feeds a crew of 16....Arrrr

Did you know that during the 16th century after Seville and Antwerp; Santa Cruz was the third ranking port in the Spanish Empire? The town was pillaged and plundered then razed to the ground by the infamous pirate known as Peg Leg in 1553. With the aid of a royal grant the town was rebuilt.

For dessert, how about some Key Lime Pie?

Sources:

Credit for the recipe belongs to my sister-in-law.
Pirate trivia courtesy of Las Islas Canarias at:
www.heureka.clara.net/tenerife/canary.htm

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