Grilled Mojo Chicken

Grilled Mojo Chicken
4.5 from 2 ratings
Enjoy some summer grilling with this chicken recipe. Have a taste of tropical flavors from the pineapple juice combined with freshly squeezed orange and lime juice. Perfect to grill during a picnic with the family. This recipe is by America's Test Kitchen and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Grilled Mojo Chicken
Total time: 2.4 hours
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (3 limes)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño chile
  • 6 (10-ounce) chicken leg quarters, trimmed
  1. Heat oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until tiny bubbles appear and the garlic is fragrant and straw-colored, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Let cool for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk pineapple juice, mustard, orange zest and juice, lime zest and juice, cumin, oregano and 3/4 teaspoon pepper together in a medium bowl.
  4. Slowly whisk in cooled garlic oil until emulsified.
  5. Transfer half of the mojo mixture to a small bowl and stir in cilantro, jalapeño, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside mojo sauce.
  6. Whisk 1 tablespoon salt into the remaining mojo mixture until dissolved.
  7. Transfer mojo marinade to a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag.
  8. Place chicken, skin side up, on a cutting board and pat dry with paper towels.
  9. Leaving drumsticks and thighs attached, make four parallel diagonal slashes in each piece of chicken: one across the drumstick, one across the leg-thigh joint and two across the thigh (slashes should reach bone).
  10. Flip chicken and make one more diagonal slash across the back of each drumstick.
  11. Transfer chicken to the bag with mojo marinade.
  12. Seal bag, turn to coat chicken and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
  13. For a charcoal grill: Open the bottom vent completely.
  14. Light a large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts).
  15. When the top coals are partially covered with ash, pour two-thirds of the coals evenly over half of the grill, then pour the remaining coals over the other half of the grill.
  16. Set the cooking grate in place, cover the grill, and open the lid vent completely.
  17. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
  18. For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat the grill until hot, about 15 minutes.
  19. Turn the primary burner to medium and turn other burners to low. (Adjust the primary burner as needed to maintain a grill temperature between 400 and 425 Fahrenehit degrees.)
  20. Clean and oil the cooking grate.
  21. Divide reserved mojo sauce equally between two bowls.
  22. Remove chicken from zipper-lock bag and place on the cooler side of the grill, skin side up; discard marinade.
  23. Cover and cook until the underside of the chicken is lightly browned about 15 minutes.
  24. Using the first bowl of mojo, baste chicken, then flip chicken and baste the second side (use all of the first bowl).
  25. Cover and continue to cook until leg-thigh joint registers 165 Fahrenheit degrees, about 15 minutes longer.
  26. Slide chicken to the hotter side of the grill, keeping the skin side down, and cook (covered if using gas) until the skin is well browned for 3 to 5 minutes.
  27. Flip chicken and continue to cook until the leg-thigh joint registers 175 Fahrenheit degrees, about 3 minutes longer.
  28. Transfer chicken to a platter and spoon remaining mojo sauce from the second bowl over top.
  29. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
  30. Serve.