Authentic Cuban Garlic Chicken Recipe Straight from Havana

Enjoy the Bold Flavors of Havana with This Delicious Garlic Chicken Recipe

Cuban Garlic Chicken
Cuban Garlic Chicken
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If you’re looking for a dish that is full of bold and delicious flavors, this authentic Cuban garlic chicken recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings. Straight from the heart of Havana and passed down through generations, this recipe features succulent chicken pieces marinated in a zesty blend of garlic, sour orange juice, salt, vinegar, pepper, oregano, and cumin.

The chicken is then roasted until cooked through, with the sauce caramelizing on the skin to create a flavor-packed and slightly crispy exterior. This recipe is perfect for a family dinner, a gathering with friends, or any special occasion where you want to impress your guests with an authentic Cuban dish.

One of the best things about this Cuban garlic chicken recipe is that it is easy to prepare and requires only a handful of ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen. With just a little bit of planning ahead, you can marinate the chicken overnight to really infuse the flavors into the meat. Then, when you’re ready to cook, simply arrange the chicken in a roasting pan and let the oven do the rest of the work.

To serve, spoon the garlic sauce over the pieces of chicken, and you can also add some sliced limes or fresh herbs as a garnish to give it a little extra flair. This dish pairs perfectly with some classic Cuban sides, such as black beans and rice, or a refreshing salad with citrus dressing.

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Food Safety Tips:

When cooking chicken, it is important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent foodborne illness. Here are some tips to keep in mind when making this Cuban garlic chicken recipe:

  1. Make sure to marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.
  2. When handling raw chicken, use separate cutting boards, utensils, and dishes to avoid cross-contamination with other foods.
  3. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure that it is fully cooked.
  4. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute and the meat to become more tender.

Overall, this Cuban garlic chicken recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves bold and flavorful cuisine. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a dish that is sure to impress your family and friends, and transport them to the streets of Havana with every bite.

Cuban Garlic Chicken

Cuban Garlic Chicken

Recipe Author : Mike Gonzalez
This Cuban Garlic Chicken recipe is a true taste of Havana, with its origins from a renowned restaurant called "Gladys' House". Gladys' House has been serving traditional Cuban cuisine for decades and is well known for its delicious and authentic flavors.

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 6 people
Calories 660 kcal


  • 1 extra-large zip-loc bag for marinating
  • 1 small mixing bowl for mixing the marinade
  • 1 roasting pan for cooking the chicken in the oven
  • 1 spoon for basting the chicken with the sauce during cooking
  • 1 Knife to cut the chicken into pieces
  • 1 Cutting Board to cut the chicken into pieces


  • 6 -8 lbs whole chickens chicken, cut into pieces
  • 12 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sour orange juice or 1/2 cup orange juice mixed with 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


  • Place the chicken in a container large enough to hold all the pieces (I used an extra-large zip-loc bag).
    6 -8 lbs whole chickens
  • Combine the garlic, sour orange juice, salt, vinegar, pepper, oregano, and cumin in a small bowl. pour the marinade evenly over the chicken; cover the chicken (or close the bag and smush it around); refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
    12 garlic cloves, 1 cup sour orange juice, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Heat oven to 450°. Arrange chicken in one layer in a roasting pan; pour the marinade evenly over the top of the chicken.
  • Roast the chicken in the lower third of the oven, stirring during the last 10 minutes to coat with the sauce, until it is cooked through and the sauce begins to caramelize, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Remove the chicken to a platter, and spoon garlic sauce from the roasting pan over the pieces. "DO NOT use the marinating sauce as it contains bacteria from the marinating process"


  • You can use any parts of the chicken for this recipe, such as the legs, thighs, breasts, and wings. You can also use bone-in or boneless chicken, depending on your preference.
  • Sour orange juice is a traditional ingredient in Cuban cuisine, but it can be difficult to find in some areas. You can substitute it with a mixture of orange juice and lime juice in equal parts.
  • The garlic sauce in this recipe is quite strong, so you may want to adjust the amount of garlic depending on your taste preference.
  • Make sure to marinate the chicken for at least one hour or overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  • You can also cook the chicken on the grill instead of in the oven. Just make sure to preheat the grill to medium-high heat and grill the chicken for about 6-8 minutes per side or until cooked through.
  • If you want to add some extra flavor, you can also add some chopped onions and bell peppers to the roasting pan along with the chicken. They will caramelize in the sauce and add a delicious sweetness to the dish.
  • Serve this dish with a side of black beans and rice, plantains, or a simple green salad.


Calories: 660kcal
Keyword Chicken
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The Gladys’ House is a small, family-owned restaurant located in the heart of Havana, Cuba. It is known for its authentic Cuban cuisine, particularly its signature dish, garlic chicken. The restaurant’s namesake, Gladys, is the head chef and has been running the restaurant for over 20 years. The restaurant itself is cozy and welcoming, with bright, colorful decor and a lively atmosphere. It has become a popular spot for both locals and tourists, with many people raving about the delicious food and friendly service. Gladys’ House is a true gem in Havana’s vibrant culinary scene and is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking to experience authentic Cuban cuisine.

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