I am fortunate that I live in Florida and I can grill year round. As a matter of fact, Floridians stop grilling at this time of year, except for major holidays like the 4th of July, as it is too hot and humid to be standing next to a hot grill. I, on the other hand, grill at least 3 or 4 times a week, year round. It is simpler and less fattening and the flavor is incomparable.
I lived for 10 years on the top floor of an apartment building in Key Biscayne. You can imagine what that can do to a griller, as buildings do not let you barbecue because of fire hazards. I was bombarded with all types of grilling substitute gadgets for Xmas, from family and friends who knew how much I missed it, to no avail. After trying an indoor electric grill and an outdoor mini gas grill I decided to chance it and get arrested. I purchased a small Smokey Joe from Webber, hid it in the corner under a big plant and orchestrated a process of lighting and cooking depending on the sunset. The grill would get lit as the sun went down so neighbors wouldn't see the flames, and cooking did not take place until it was dark, so no one could see the smoke. As I lived on the top floor overlooking the ocean, I did not have neighbors upstairs to complain and if I was lucky, the smoke would blow into the ocean. Thank heavens for the friends and neighbors who stood in a circle around the grill to shield it from getting spotted from the neighbors across the street. I have to admit I almost got caught on more than a couple of ocassions! All that for a simple barbecue!
Now you know that I have earned my stripes in the barbecue department although I am still working on my second stripe in the baking category.This is a simple everyday recipe for chicken which can be marinaded ahead and cooked in less than an hour. If you are in a hurry, you can cut the marinade time to 30 minutes, but try not to.
Prep: 15 min., Chill: 2 hr., Grill: 40 min.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
1/4 C olive oil
1tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 C crushed mint leaves
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) cut-up whole chickens*
Stir together first 6 ingredients until blended.
Place half each of mojo mixture and chicken in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal. Repeat procedure with remaining mojo mixture and chicken, placing in a separate zip-top plastic freezer bag. Chill chicken at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours, turning occasionally.
Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade.
Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 35 to 40 minutes or until done, turning occasionally.
*8 skinned and boned chicken breast halves and 8 skinned and boned chicken thighs may be substituted for whole chickens. Chill in marinade at least 1 to 2 hours, turning occasionally. Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until done. On the other hand, I strongly recommend you buy chicken with skin on and remove it before you eat it. You will get a moister chicken inside with lots of flavor.
Mojo criollo is a wonderful blend of orange and lemon juice, garlic, onion and spices. There are four or five brands, all are good, but I prefer Goya. Nowadays, it can be found in the Spanish section of most grocery stores. If you can't find it, go to my Amazon store in the lower right column of the blog. Once you try it, you will not be able to live without it! You can use it as a marinade for meat, seafood and pork.