This last spring while shopping for plants for my garden I stumbled upon a Cuban Oregano plant. I’ve never seen or heard of Cuban Oregano before and it was so much different looking than the Italian or Greek Oregano that I have growing in large pots on my back patio. The leaves were thicker, almost succulent like and they were lighter in color than the variety I use for Italian and Mediterranean dishes. What I also noticed is that it had a wonderful herbaceous smell and flavor that would be perfect with chicken, pork or even lamb.
Do you see how thick the leaves are? They are fleshy and soft to the touch, almost velvety in nature. I picked a few sprigs and thought of making a marinade for some chicken that I was going to prepare for dinner that evening. I tasted one of the leaves first to get an idea of how much to use. It was fairly aromatic and had a lovely flavor. With that in mind, I was thinking of making a marinade that had a Mexican or Latin American profile. That meant lime juice, cilantro and garlic would be great in addition to cumin, pepper and onion. I pulled together my ingredients and marinated the chicken for about 4 hours before tossing on the hot grill. Luckily, I wrote down my recipe for it turned out fabulous! Both Bruce and I loved it! As a result, this marinade is a definite keeper. Chop up any leftover chicken and fill warm corn or flour tortillas for delicious soft tacos for a quick and easy dinner the next day. Enjoy! Tessa
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup onion
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/3 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 1/2 Tbs Cuban oregano
- 4 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- garnish with lime wedges and sprigs of Cuban oregano
Toss all ingredients except for the chicken in a blender. Blend for a few seconds until all the ingredients are mixed well. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 4 – 6 hours before cooking. Place chicken on the barbecue or grill pan on medium high heat. Discard marinade. Cook chicken, turning occasionally, until the juices run clear or the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from heat and let chicken rest for about 5 minutes prior to serving. Serve with lime wedges and garnish with the Cuban oregano. Makes about 8 servings.