The basic spices you will need for making Cuban inspired dishes with chicken include bay laurel leaves, cumin, garlic, oregano, and salt and ground black pepper.
You will also discover that several Cuban meals use a base of sofrito for flavor, which is a combination of onions and green peppers with garlic, oregano, and pepper all quickly fried in olive oil.
Use sofrito with chicken casseroles, in other meat, fish, or poultry dishes, and also with black beans or in soups and stews or with recipes including tomato sauce.
You can also make a simple mojo, which is a light sauce often used to coat and flavor meats like chicken that is made of garlic, olive oil, onion, and oregano.
Alternatively, marinating seasoned chicken first in citrus juices like lime or orange juices and then allowing it to slowly roast will result in a delectable flavor and incredibly tender meat that falls off the bone.
To add to your chicken dinners you might also want to serve a few side dishes of different root vegetables marinated in mojo, a spicy sauce made from raw onions, garlic, hot olive oil, cumin, and lemon juice.
You can also serve rice, beans, corn, or a light salad consisting of sliced tomatoes, onions, and a few greens with any Cuban cuisine.
For an interesting and filling casserole, combine herbs and spices like sweet paprika, cumin, allspice, cilantro, thyme, salt, and pepper with onions, red bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic, tomatoes, lime juice, olive oil, chorizo, and white rice with chicken breasts or thighs.
Spicy Cuban Chicken and Vegetables Recipe What You Need
- 12 small chicken drumsticks (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 3 bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
- 3 cups butternut squash, cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Line 2 baking bans with nonstick aluminum foil and arrange half of the chicken, bell peppers, and butternut squash in each pan.
In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the orange juice with the cilantro, olive oil, cumin, garlic, oregano, and salt and black pepper to taste.
Pour all but 1/4 of the orange juice mixture over top of the chicken and vegetables and toss to coat well.
Roast the chicken and vegetables for 15 minutes.
Remove the pans from the oven and toss to coat the ingredients well.
Roast for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink inside and all the vegetables are tender.
Drizzle the remaining orange juice mixture on top of the spicy Cuban chicken and vegetables dish just before serving.