Cuban Garlic Chicken

Dinner, Grub. | July 27, 2011 | By

I posted a picture of this chicken on Facebook and it got such an amazing response, I felt that I had to get this onto Mommy Bistro for you as soon as possible! If you have ever had real Cuban Garlic Chicken (meaning you have been to Versailles Restaurant in Encino, CA or another location), then you know what I am about to give you. Anyone who has been to this gem of a restaurant, realizes the magnitude of the gift this recipe is. I obviously didn’t steal their recipe (if I only knew how!!), so this is my own version. This is the dish to end all dishes, the-end-of-the-world-what-am-I-going-to-eat-before-I-die Cuban Garlic Chicken. The last time I made this I didn’t have time to go to Jons Market for La Lechorana so I used the Albertsons brand from concentrate orange juice and I used three lemons instead of two. I serve this chicken with cilantro rice and black beans.

Hubby’s Note: If I were on Death Row, this might possibly be my last meal request. But only because you can’t count on the quality of the Filet Mignon in prisons these days. They don’t make them like they used to. Back to the Chicken – it’s amazing. I’ve been known to start speaking in a Cuban dialect while eating this dish and spouting the benefits of communism whilst cursing the capitalist pigs that insist–wait, I digress. Ok, I know it looks nice and neat in the picture, but I highly recommend ripping this dish a new one. I cut all the chicken up first and then ditch the carcass so I can devote 100% of my attention to the delicious mess of Chickeny Citrusy Garlicy Rice-Beansy Oniony goodness before me. Warning – suprisingly, the hottest part of this dish is the raw onion. I asked my wife if she could maybe sweat the onion a little bit to tone it down. She responded by taking my “Man-Card” from me. I had to do masonry work in the yard to earn it back.

24 ounces of La Lechonera Sour Orange Juice (no other brand will do, trust me)
 or fresh squeezed tart orange juice
12 cloves garlic
Juice of two lemon
2 teaspoons cumin
teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 large sliced onion
1 cut up chicken
1/2 cup butter

Place half of the orange juice, garlic, lemon, cumin, black pepper and salt in a food processor and blend. Pour into a large bowl and add the rest of the orange juice. Place your chicken pieces into a separate bowl and add half of the delicious marinade/dipping sauce. Place a few pieces of the onion around the chicken. Pretty please? Allow the chicken to marinade overnight. When you are ready to cook these up, bring your chicken to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350. Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or in a oven safe dish. Once your butter begins to brown, add the chicken, frying it until it is golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side. Once all the pieces are cooked, add the marinade the chicken was in and place in the oven for an hour. In the meantime make your cilantro rice and black beans. I usually make Mahatma rice with chicken stock and then add 4-5 cubes of frozen cilantro like you can find at Trader Joe’s. Our favorite little market, Trader Joe’s also has cuban style black beans that you can serve along side this delicious chicken. Once the chicken is done cooking, place some rice on a plate topped with black beans and then place the chicken on the plate. Serve this dish with your reserved dipping sauce and place some of the onions on top before serving. Go get ’em!


  1. Leave a Reply

    Lynette Sarofim
    July 28, 2011

    Making this tomorrow, wish me luck!

  2. Leave a Reply

    July 31, 2011

    Our chicken is marinating right now ; ) Come on over and try it with us!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Kether Giuliani
    December 28, 2011

    Made this last night and I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever made. It was amazing and I can’t wait for leftovers tonight. The cilantro rice as a side is a MUST… it was a taste explosion with the marinate. I couldn’t find sour orange juice so I used orange juice from concentrate, 2 lemons, 2 limes and a tbs of white vinegar to make it super sour and it was to die for. Thanks for the recipe! Next week I’m trying your 40 clove chicken 🙂

  4. Leave a Reply

    July 19, 2012

    OMG… seriously that looks like the stuff I grew up on. I CANNOT WAIT to make this! Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming up with something I can play with. My hubby will thank you too. Trust me.

  5. Leave a Reply

    December 5, 2012

    Help! The recipe is great, taste really good,
    But my chicken came out dry.
    Where did I go wrong?
    I followed all the steps, please help me!

    • Leave a Reply

      April 4, 2013

      Did you sear the chicken in a very hot dutch oven? I do not recommend using boneless skinless chicken breast. Bone in will keep it much juicier. As long as you sear it, the juices should stay in the chicken…

  6. Leave a Reply

    January 12, 2013

    Made this last night… delish! Thank you for posting. I have tried several recipes since leaving southern california and this one is nearly spot on. I had it with plain basmati rice and black beans with a little of the dipping sauce and tapatio added while cooking. YUM.

    • Leave a Reply

      April 4, 2013

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! My girlfriend just went to Versailles and had this dish. She sent me a picture and now it is all I can think about. I will be making this again so very soon

  7. Leave a Reply

    June 18, 2014

    Seared it in a large All-Clad frying pan that can go directly into oven. I usually do a split fryer and continue to baste it throughout cooking. Prepping it today for tomorrow night’s dinner!

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