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Citrusy Garlicky Cuban Roasted Chicken (Pollo Asado Cubano)

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This citrusy, garlicky pollo asado cubano (Cuban roasted chicken) is juicy, tender, and easy to make.

It’s the perfect recipe year-round and for days when you’re craving something delicious that doesn’t require much prep time.

The key to this recipe is the fresh orange and the sour, citrusy, garlicky marinade mixture. I also love Trader Joe’s Cuban seasoning blend, while you can make the blend all your own, the special combination of bitter orange and lime oil is delicious, and all the other spices make the perfect Cuban seasoning.

Pollo Asado Cubano in Cast Iron Skillet

Also, a shout out to my dad, who absolutely loved this recipe—so much that he requested it again this week.

Why This Pollo Asado Recipe Works

  • Quickly marinade the chicken while you preheat the oven.
  • ​Simple ingredients that are easy to find.
  • The perfect meal for the whole family paired with white rice, beans, and sweet plantains is perfectly balanced.

Ingredient List and Ingredient Variations

Simple ingredients for this Cuban chicken recipe.

Whole Chicken—pasture-raised whole chicken, chicken legs, bone-in chicken thighs, or chicken breasts.

Chicken breasts cook much faster because they’re leaner.

Simple Cuban Pollo Asado Marinade

Fresh Oranges – I love navel oranges for this recipe. They’re sweet and juicy.

Fresh Lemon Juice or Fresh Lime Juice

White Distilled Vinegar

Garlic Cloves—minced. I love using a microplane because it’s so easy to mince garlic with one.

Cuban Style Citrusy Garlic (Trader Joe’s)—This amazing seasoning blend uses bitter orange oil or naranja agria, which gives it that authentic Cuban flavor. It also contains marjoram, parsley, lemon oil, bay leaves, red pepper, onion salt, cilantro, basil, and lime oil. You can also replace it with a homemade spice blend.

Ground Cumin Powder

Avocado Oil—or your preferred neutral oil. I love avocado oil because it’s the perfect oil for high-heat cooking, and we will be broiling the chicken towards the end.

Salt

Equipment

  • Cast Iron Large Skillet or Baking Dish
  • Parchment Paper – to line the cast iron
  • Microplane
  • Measuring Cup Or Small Mixing Bowl – For the marinade
  • ​Basting Brush
  • Large Bowl or Baking Dish – to marinate the chicken

Top Tips For Delicious Pollo Asado Cubano

  • Line the skillet with parchment paper for easier cleanup.
  • Slice an orange, line the skillet with orange slices, and place the chicken on the orange slices to keep the chicken moist and prevent the drippings from drying. Drippings, also known as liquid gold, because this is where the flavor lives.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparation of Whole Chicken

Leave chicken at room temperature, clean it, pat it dry, and place it in a deep baking dish.

Line the cast iron skillet with parchment paper, and slices of navel orange.

​Step One

Squeeze fresh lemon and one orange juice in a measuring cup or bowl.

Mince the garlic cloves and place garlic in a mixing bowl, then mix the garlic mixture with the spices and avocado oil. Save half of the Cuban-style citrusy Garlic seasoning for later.

Pour marinade (half) on the chicken and spread using the basting brush. And marinate for 15-30 minutes while the oven preheats. Save half for basting as it roasts for extra flavor.

Step Two

Transfer the chicken to the skillet, breast side down, and brush with the sour orange juice and garlic mixture. Then sprinkle on Cuban-style seasoning, enough to coat the chicken lightly.

Roast chicken for two hours at 350 degrees, basting it every 30 minutes.

Step Three

After an hour, broil the chicken on low for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the chicken from the oven.

Flip the chicken, breast side up, using tongs or two forks, and baste, add the remaining marinade, sprinkle on the remaining Cuban-style seasoning, and return to the oven.

Step Four

Baste every 30 minutes. After an hour, broil on low until medium golden brown. Then, remove from the oven when it’s fully cooked or reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Check the innermost part of the thigh with a food thermometer.

Chicken Pieces

If you’re roasting bone-in chicken thighs, skinless chicken thighs, or legs, bake the thighs for an hour to an hour 15 minutes (or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees).

Baste and broil, and the end until the skin is crisp.

Grilling

Individual chicken pieces are ideal for grilling. Place the chicken on indirect heat. Ideally, on the side of the grill, it is less likely to burn and cook all through.

Cook until the innermost part of the thigh cooks to 165 degrees. Test with an instant read thermometer.

Storage and Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight glass container for up to 48 hours.

Reheat in the oven at 400 degrees until it’s thoroughly reheated, roughly 10-15 minutes.

What To Serve With This Pollo Asado?

Pollo asado with white rice and black beans is a classic Cuban dish. Try this delicious, quick, and easy canned black bean recipe. My favorite Cuban food is a plate with something sweet and savory, such as platanos maduros with a piece of dark meat, white rice, and beans. Yum!

​Great side dishes with pollo asado include air fryer plantain chips, patacones (twice-fried plantains), and Air Fryer Yuca Fries.

For pollo asado tacos, warm tortillas on a skillet and serve with avocado and some of your favorite toppings. A delicious dipping sauce for this Cuban chicken.

Not sure what to serve with this recipe? Keep reading here: simple side dishes to serve with pollo asado.

Looking for other recipes?

Try some of my favorites:

Pork Belly Fried Rice

Super Crispy Pollo Empanizado (Breaded Chicken)

Puerto Rican Shrimp Stew (Asopao de Camarones)

If you make this pollo asado Cubano (Cuban Roasted Chicken), leave a comment or give the recipe a rating. I love to hear from you, and I try my best to respond to all the comments.

Pollo Asado Cubano in Cast Iron Skillet

Citrusy Garlicky Cuban Roasted Chicken (Pollo Asado Cubano)

Olga Muñoz
Delicious, crispy pollo asado Cubano with a splash of citrusy, garlicky flavors.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 5 people
Calories 350 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Cast Iron Large Skillet Or Baking Dish
  • 1 Parchment Paper to line the cast iron
  • 1 Microplane
  • 1 Small Mixing Bowl For the marinade
  • 1 Basting Brush
  • 1 Large bowl to marinate the chicken

Ingredients
  

Chicken

  • 4.5 lb Whole Chicken

Cuban Pollo Asado Marinade

  • 2 Navel Oranges
  • 1 Fresh Lemon
  • 1 tsp White Distilled Vinegar
  • 8 cloves Fresh Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ tbsp Cuban Style Citrusy Garlic Blend Trader Joe's Seasoning Blend
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Leave chicken at room temperature for five minutes before prep.
    Clean it, pat it dry, and place it in a deep baking dish.
    overhead view of Orange and parchment paper lined skillet

Roasting

  • Squeeze fresh lemon and one orange juice in a measuring cup or bowl.
    Mince the garlic cloves and place garlic in a mixing bowl, then mix the garlic mixture with the spices and avocado oil. Save half of the Cuban-style citrusy Garlic seasoning for later.
    Pour marinade (half) on the chicken and spread using the basting brush. And marinate for 15-30 minutes while the oven preheats. Save half for basting as it roasts for extra flavor.
    overhead view of Pollo asado Cubano marinade in a baking dish
  • Transfer the chicken to the skillet, breast side down, and brush with the sour orange juice and garlic mixture. Then sprinkle on Cuban-style seasoning, enough to coat the chicken lightly.
    Roast chicken for two hours at 350 degrees, basting it every 30 minutes.
    overhead view of Seasoned Cuban Pollo Asado in a cast iron skillet
  • After an hour, broil the chicken on low for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the chicken from the oven.
    Flip the chicken, breast side up, using tongs or two forks, and baste, add the remaining marinade, sprinkle on the remaining Cuban-style seasoning, and return to the oven.
    overhead view of Basted Cuban Garlic Chicken in Cast Iron Skillet
  • Baste every 30 minutes. After an hour, broil on low until medium golden brown. Then, remove from the oven when it’s fully cooked or reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Check the innermost part of the thigh with a food thermometer.

Video

Notes

Top Tips

  • Line the skillet with parchment paper for easier cleanup.
  • Slice an orange, line the skillet with orange slices, and place the chicken on the orange slices to keep the chicken moist and prevent the drippings from drying. Drippings, also known as liquid gold, because this is where the flavor lives.

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcalProtein: 35gFat: 15g
Keyword Cuban Garlic Chicken, Cuban Pollo Asado, Cuban Roasted Chicken, Pollo Asado Cubano
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