Slow Cooker Mojo Chicken and Rice Bowl
Low in fat and calories, this slow cooker Spanish-style Citrus Mojo Chicken is as flavorful as it is healthy. In this slow cooked chicken, Mojo sauce and chicken help each other getting more flavorful. I mean, chicken slow cooked with tangy-sweet orange, lemon, garlic and spices gets flavorful, moist and very juicy.... on the other hand, sauce picks up juicy flavor from cooking chicken!
Oh, and guess what? Today's chicken dinner is not served with plain rice. I'm sharing a simplest trick to make plain-rice extra scrumptious! I mean - finger looking good (if you happen to eat'em old-style with hands :-) )
For weekdays, I'm always in hunt to perfect easy chicken dinner recipes.
Honestly for me, a flavorful, easy to cook, and healthy bowl of food means - completing the day on a good note. However, just like you, some weekdays I'm so so busy that cooking and eating a homemade meal really looks like a big challenge.
On such days, two of my trusted appliances work best for me. ....
1) Slow Cooker : When I know I have a tight schedule, then slow cooker comes in handy. Just a little prep, put in crock pot and then come home to fragrance of a cooked chicken dinner.... ready to be devoured!
2) Pressure cooker: When I have no idea of tight schedule then.... come home and throw everything in pressure cooker, just 15 minutes and dinner is ready to be served! Winner winner Chicken Dinner!!
...... and leftovers for the lunch tomorrow! Voila!!! ;;)
As easy as it sounds, the only catch in the story is: recipe should be tested, family-fav and foolproof!
So when I share a recipe with you, I prefer to test it few times in Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker. That helps me adapt it for my family dinner and it helps you guys too! win-win
Like today's Mojo sauce... first-time I tasted in a local Spanish restaurant and loved the fresh and clean flavors. Mojo, in Spanish means sauce or a marinate made primarily with citrus juices such orange or lemon, and spices like cumin, paprika, garlic etc.
Different Spanish countries use different acid ingredients in place of orange for the Mojo Marinade - like lime, lemon, and vinegar are most common. I have used two of them today - orange and lemons. Since oranges are in-season and very sweet, I found just orange-based sauce lacking the flavor.
So, in my second attempt, I also added lemon juice to bring out more of citrus notes. What I'm trying to say is: not just orange or lemon, a good mojo sauce is all about delicious citrus-y flavors. So go ahead, use whichever citrus is available in your refrigerator and make this chicken dinner your own!
I thing is certain though, this chicken dinner has abundance of Vitamin-C! First, the mojo chicken marinade, then salsa, and fresh juicy pineapple!!
Looking at this bowl reminds me of sunny California and Mexican cuisine! Actually, initially I decided to work on my version of Mojo for my love of Spanish/Mexican ingredients only and then of-course the clean flavors of Mojo sauce just won every one!
Really, a Chicken marinade cannot be simpler and cleaner than Mojo Chicken Marinade. First, the ingredients are simple, easy to find, pantry/refrigerator staples and then taste is super zippy and flavorful.
Bonus! Cooking in slow cooker makes this chicken dinner very accessible as every day light dinner.
....... You guys, kitchen is filled with aroma like grab-the-plates-and-get-ready-to-eat kinda delicious!
I'm super fan of adding flavors to the plain rice to make'em scrumptious on their own. When I made Mojo Chicken first-time, I did not want to serve it over plain rice. So here is what I did!
When we cook marinades or liquid-based sauces and chicken/meats in slow cooker, the marinade cooks and turns into intense flavored (in good way) sauce. It mostly does not get thick in consistency. So, one way is to reduce the remaining flavor-packed sauce in pan until it is thick and glossy. Other way is to mix half of liquid in chicken and rest into the rice.
Oh yeah! You will be surprised how much flavor a 1/2 cup of cooked mojo sauce / or any slow cooker liquid will bring to plain bowl of rice.
Here is what you need to to do:
Instead of mixing all of the mojo chicken sauce back into the shredded chicken.. Mix half of the sauce (while still warm) into cooked rice and remaining into the shredded chicken. This little steps ensure most flavorful bowl of rice.... as if cooked low and slow in the slow cooker.
Sauce of cooked mojo chicken has tone of chicken flavor. Even if you save just some rice to eat the other day, you will not miss the chicken. (you will crave to make it soon again though ;) )
I hope you enjoying Monday! Now, I get up for lunch :) Wish you a wonderful rest of the day!
A few more delicious Chicken Bowls from my recipe repertoire:
Slow Cooker Mojo Chicken and Rice Bowl
- Mojo Chicken Marinade
- 1.5 lbs Chicken (prefer thighs, I used bone-in, bone-less is fine too)
- 1 Cup Orange Juice (juice 2-3 large juicy oranges)
- 1/4 Cup Lemon (juice, about 2-3 lemons squeezed)
- 1 tsp Salt (adjust per taste)
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp Oregano (dried)
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 3 Garlic (cloves)
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (or any medium to hot chili powder)
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- Chicken and Rice Bowl
- Rice (2-3 cup cooked, or tortillas, or both per your preference )
- Pineapple (fresh, sliced)
- Lime (1-2 sliced into wedges)
- Salsa (Pico Di Gayo)
- 1. In a food processor jar, add all of the Mojo Chicken Marinade ingredients and process until well blended. Additional Notes: If don't want to use processor, grate the garlic and mix everything else well until combined.
- 2. Pour marinade in seal-able bag or container. Add chicken and marinate for 15-20 minutes to one hour. Additional Notes: Slow cooker needs less marination then oven or pressure cooking.
- 3. Slow Cooker Method - Pour chicken in slow cooker with marinade. Cover and cook on high for 2.5 hours or on low for 5 hours.
- 4. Pressure Cooker Method - Heat oil in cooker pot until hot. Add chicken (reserve marinade) and cook until brown from both sides. Add in reserved marinade, place the lid tight, cook for 10 minutes or until 4-5 whistles of cooker. Once done leave aside until pressure of cooker is released. Chicken should be cooked and bone tender. Additional Notes: Oven Method - In oven, preheat oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat oil in cooker pot until hot. Add chicken and cook until brown from both sides. Add in reserved marinade, cover and cook in oven for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
- 5. Once cooked, take chicken out of sauce, shred with clean hand or two forks. Put shredded chicken back in half of the sauce. Mix remaining half of sauce with cooked rice. Additional Notes: If sauce is not thick to your liking, you can reduce the sauce by cooking in pan for 3-4 minutes, then add to the chicken/rice.
- 6. Serve with warm tortillas, salsa, pineapple, and lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!
Grilling season is approaching fast! I must tell you that well marinated Mojo Chicken is great on the grill too!!
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