The Best Homemade Brownies

I bribe my kids. There I said it. They do their homework, treat. They pick up their room, treat. They put their shoes away, treat. I learned this method from getting and training our puppy. It’s extremely effective. Stumbling upon this recipe has made bribing them much easier. The best part is how easy it is. I got it from Love and Lemons and my daughter and I now make it about once a week. It takes not even 10 minutes to mix it all together and throw in the oven. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar*
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or extra-virgin olive oil**
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly spray an 8×8 baking dish (not a 9×9 dish or your brownies will overcook) with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, water, and vanilla.
  • Sprinkle the dry mix over the wet mix and stir until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan (it’ll be thick – that’s ok) and use a spatula to smooth the top. Bake for 40 to 48 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs attached (note: it’s better to pull the brownies out early than to leave them in too long). Cool completely before slicing.*** Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. These also freeze well!

Notes

*If you’d like to reduce the sugar, I’ve had success with 1 cup granulated sugar instead of 1 1/2 cups.**I like to use olive oil because it’s what I keep on hand and I enjoy the pairing of olive oil with chocolate. Keep in mind that you will taste it here. For a more neutral flavor, use canola oil.***When these brownies come out of the oven, they’ll be super gooey in the middle. Allow them to cool completely, about 2 hours, before you slice into them to give them a chance to set up. They’ll continue to firm up the longer they’re out of the oven. If you still prefer a firmer brownie, store them in the fridge.

Fricase De Pollo

Being an active member of the internet, I have seen all the memes calling for bloggers to stop including a story before the recipe.

But this recipe brings back so many memories… haha I’m kidding. I will not bore you with the details. Just let me know what you think!

Ingredients

  • 8-10 chicken thighs (Bone-in, skinless) *See notes below
  • 2 cups mojo marinade (store bought is fine)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 ½  teaspoon salt (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 cup dry white cooking wine
  • 2 healthy tablespoons of tomato paste 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup alcaparrado olives (pimiento stuff will also do)
  • 1 tablespoon olive juice from can
  • 2 packets sazon goya (cilantro achiote)
  • 2 small/medium russet potatoes cut into square chunks 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Marinade chicken pieces in mojo overnight or at least 30 minutes up to 24 hours.. 
  2. Once marinated, remove chicken from marinade and pat dry. **See notes below to know why
  3. Sprinkle the chicken with salt. 
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, over high heat.  Wait for the oil to get very hot. 
  5. Brown the chicken skin side down (in batches if need be to not over crowd the pan), will take about 7-9 minutes.  Then flip the chicken and cook for just about 2 minutes (doesn’t need to cook through).  Remove from pan and set aside. 
  6. Add the onions and red pepper to the pan.  Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, the sazon packets, oregano, cumin, and saute until translucent. Then add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  7. Add the tomato paste and stir it into the veggies until it starts to look cooked out or about 2-3 minutes.  Add in the broth.  
  8. Add the wine to the pan and simmer with the veggies and paste for 5 minutes.  
  9. Add the chicken back into the pot.  Do not cover the chicken with the broth, want to keep the chicken braising without soaking the skin. 
  10. Simmer on medium/low heat  (covered) for 25 minutes, add potatoes, then simmer for another 25 minutes.

Notes

**Make sure to pat the chicken DRY before adding it to the oil. If you put them in wet you risk it splattering and burning you, and it will steam the chicken instead of browning. 

White Bean, Sausage, and Kale Soup

This is one of the first recipes I started making when Bobby (my adorable husband) and I decided we were going to start this whole “kale” thing that Beyonce and the rest of the world were talking about. Eating healthy is not always fun, so I like this recipe a lot because it’s light and helps you get some greens in without wanting to die each bite.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 4 Cajun Andouille Sausages (or your preference) sliced thin*
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth (2 boxes)
  • 2 cups water (play it by ear may not need)
  • 2 cups kale stems removed and torn into 1” pieces (or half a bag)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

*If you are vegan, you can take out the sausage and only continue with beans and kale, maybe even add in sweet potato as a substitute for the sausage, as I’m typing this maybe next time we should just add sweet potato anyway!

How To:

Take a 3 qt or larger saucepan and

  • Heat the oil in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add sausage and cook until browned (about 4 minutes each side). With a slotted spoon place the cooked sausage into a bowl to rest. Add a little more oil, and add the onion cooking until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mash one can of beans in a small bowl. Add mashed beans, broth, sausage, and water (if needed) to the saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in remaining beans (left whole), kale, 1 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer about 20 minutes, until kale is tender.
  • Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve

Nothing A Little Chicken Soup Can’t Fix

I had the worst cold of my adult life last week.  All I could do was sleep and blow my nose. One of those days where you imagine getting hit by a truck would feel better than you do in your bed under the covers.  

When I was younger, if I even sneezed in my Abuela Yaya’s presence, I could expect a full pot of chicken soup almost immediately.  Food was a huge part of how she showed her love to all of us. She fed us. Her chicken soup was actually the last thing she made for me before she passed.  Even through her cancer treatment, she did what she could to comfort us. I remember showing up early, and she finally let me in on her favorite Tomato sauce that she swears was the secret to her soup.  You should know she was a dirty liar who won’t give you the entire recipe to anything. Maybe she just wanted us to keep coming back for the real thing. However, the next time I made the soup, shortly after she passed, I put in some of the sauce like she told me to and it was the best one I ever made.

It’s been almost 10 years since she left us.  This soup is my secret weapon to any and all colds and viruses.  I now make it any time someone in my house sneezes in my presence because, thanks to Yaya, I know how loved and taken care of it feels to get a warm pot of chicken soup when you aren’t feeling your best. I made it for myself last week once I got the feeling in my legs back.  

I now make it in my instant pot, because that machine is magic.  However I made it in a pot for so long, that I am also giving instructions for the good old fashion way.  Also, feel free to sub in whatever veggies you have, or like to use. I mix it up depending my mood, and what is available. This is just a guide you can add in or take away vegetables or seasoning depending on your taste. Hope you enjoy

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lb skinless boneless chicken breast or cutlets also work
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • Tomato Sauce (I use Pomi Strained Tomatoes)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Bijol
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • Noodles – I like thin noodles but it’s your preference

Veggies:

  • Potato
  • Malanga
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Spinach
  • Plantain
  • Garlic

Directions

Instant Pot

Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Pour three cups of chicken broth and add your chicken to the pot.  Add all your cut up vegetables (except spinach if using) and spices (except dill).  Add more broth if you think it needs it but do not pass the Max line. Pour in ¼ cup of tomato puree, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  

Close the top.  Make sure the pressure release valve is in place on Seal.  Press the Soup/Broth Button. Let the magic happen.

Once the pot is done cooking the soup, release the pressure by switching the valve to release. BE CAREFUL DO NOT OPEN THE VALVE WHEN YOUR HAND IS OVER IT. Open the lid.  Throw in any egg noodles, the spinach if using and a little dill.  Mix it all in and cover for 5-8 minutes. Enjoy.

Stove Top

Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. Pour 4 cups of broth into pot on medium high heat.  Add the chicken, and all your cut up vegetables (except spinach if using). Add in the spices to taste (except dill). Pour in ¼ cup of tomato puree, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  Mix it all together and bring to a boil. Let it boil strong for 2-3 minutes then cover and lower heat to medium-low. Let it cook mixing ever so often for 45 minutes to one hour. Add in the spinach (if using) noodles and the pinch of dill.  Mix in. Cover. Let stand for 5-8 minutes. Enjoy.

Thanksgiving: A How to

I know what you’re thinking.  Who the F is this girl to be dishing out any advice about how to host at all, let alone Thanksgiving.  You aren’t totally wrong.  I would think that too if I were you.  You probably have yet to become privy to the fact that I love Thanksgiving.  I love it so intensely and most definitely in a way that totally crossed weird years ago.

I love hosting it.  It’s one of the only aspects in my life that I want to exert complete control over.   The reason I give to people for hosting, I love bringing families together.   The real reason: no house that we visited ever had all the food that I wanted to eat on Thanksgiving.  I look forward to this food all year.  As my best friend Selena says, “The heart wants what it wants.”

Ok, it’s a combination of both of these things.  I love being around family, and I love good food.  Thanksgiving gives me both of these things.  We are all extremely blessed, and at minimum we should take a day to really express that to each other.

I was terrified the first time I was going to make a turkey.   Don’t let the turkey intimidate you.  They are just big chickens! Give them a little love and cook them the right amount of time and you will appear to be a master chef to your guests.  Also, the way the markets sell them now, all of the “giblets” and other things are super easy to take out and very obvious.  Trust me- you will be able to do it.

I’ve made many mistakes over my last 8 years of hosting my own Thanksgiving.  Picked up some lessons and think that at least one of you will find at least one thing useful here.  So here it is, my how to host Thanksgiving crash course.

The Turkey- Go Buy One!

Today is the Friday before our current Thanksgiving (2018).  Depending on the size of your turkey, you may need to go buy it.  In a really hard way- I learned turkeys need more than one day to thaw (correctly).   Most stores are selling you a frozen turkey, and you need to let it thaw out in your fridge (on a cookie sheet or pan to avoid juice spilling).  You need a full 24 hour of thaw time for each 4 lbs of turkey.   I typically do at least a pound a person minimum and always round up about 2-3 lbs- having leftovers is the priority people! If you didn’t make a full on Thanksgiving sandwich the next day- you failed the mission.

Now for all of you who like to live on the edge (or don’t have a ton of fridge space like most of us)- there is a way to thaw it quicker.  I’ve definitely done it this way multiple times, and always say a little prayer of thanks for sending us Martha Stewart.  Click HERE to have Martha’s people walk you through this.

My Favorite Turkey Recipe

It can come from the one and only, Ina Garten.  Not to change the subject, but do you think Ina and Martha are friends? I like to imagine them in Ina’s cottage having BLT sandwiches and Chardonnay swapping recipes…… ok sorry I’m back.

Click HERE for this recipe, it is AMAZING! It requires no extra prep time.  You can literally take your turkey out, clean it, remove all the stuff, pat dry and add these ingredients and the turkey comes out delicious.

People swear by brining the turkey, sounds cool and it really does help keep the turkey juicy- but it’s not necessary at all.  If you have time and like it- great, but don’t stress it.

When cooking the turkey, I like to  baste it every hour.  Set a timer on your phone or with Alexa.   But don’t baste it right before you take it out, you need to let the skin crisp a bit.

Most Important Tip: Let the turkey REST! I once saw Chef Michael Symon (yes, I’m Chef obsessed and I groupie out on them when I meet them).  Either way he gave an entire lecture on this, on The Chew (I’m rockstar cool)- let it rest covered under foil for at least 40 minutes before carving.

If you are Stuffing the Turkey Read This 

The first year- I mastered my turkey.  Now the second year I wanted to get fancy and make stuffing to put into my turkey.  How cool am I? (if you want to unfollow me now I understand).

Important tip- whatever stuffing you are going to put into your turkey.  Do not stuff the turkey with anything warm.  If you put hot/warm things into your turkey’s cavity it could make everyone sick.  Let it cool down, ideally make it the day before and have it completely cold before stuffing it.

Let’s Talk Sides

What constitutes a good side for Thanksgiving is very debatable.  I leave it to you to pick and choose what works for your family and friends.

This year I am hosing 10 adults and 5 kids going with my favorite Mac n Cheese Recipe,  Sweet Potato Casserole, Roasted Corn, Brussel Sprouts and Arroz y Frijoles (because my Abuelo demands it).

Table Top and Serveware

As much as I love cooking and getting all the food ready for Thanksgiving.  I always struggle a little on setting the table.  I’ve gotten much better, and I completely credit my sister-in-law as my guiding light.  She is constantly showing me how to adult.  While I do not come close to her flawless tabletop abilities, I have found a few tricks to make a nice table with minimal effort.

For starters the flowers.  A few different things you can do

  • Beautiful and Cheap: Grabbing a few beautiful flowers at the market and arranging them at home is always your cheapest bet, and will always add a little special touch.
  • Gorgeous and A little more $: I’m actually not the best flower sorter.  I mean, I can get the job done, but it’s aight.  For events like this I typically turn to House of Lilac.  She actually gives great Thanksgiving Decor Tips HERE. I will have a few of her bud vases or small arrangements delivered and put them on the table, and right off the bat my table looks much more polished.  She is also making some pretty outrageous Garlands for anyone wanting to really take it up a 1000 notches.

Let’s Talk Serveware

Having collected a few solid pieces of Serveware really makes everything look more put together.   I love to pick up pieces at either CB2 or Target both have a good range of items that compliment each other, and aren’t too expensive.

YOU MUST Delegate

You’re taking on a lot hosting Thanksgiving! The people coming know that and want to help you.  Let your people help you.  Let them bring an appetizer, a side, desert, and wine.

MOST IMPORTANT TIP: If you’re assigning wine- make sure you assign it to someone who understands the assignment and not the one who will bring the cheap gross shit that no one wants to drink.

Finally- ENJOY!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! Hope your family only had a little drama- you know the kind to keep you entertained but not earth shattering.

Love,

Cristina

 

 

 

 

 

Mac n Cheese: Mad Love

At a very young age, I fell madly and deeply in love with Mac n Cheese.  I suppose I can thank Kraft for that, even though we now know that it was less Mac n Cheese and more pasta and yellow dye no 9. I digress.

This mad love affair has only grown stronger.  In fact, my husband knows if we go to a restaurant with Mac n Cheese on the menu- it will be ordered.  Whether it pairs well with our meal or not- ordered.  I simply must know what it tastes like in every single establishment I enter.  If you are wondering whether I have a running list of places with the best- the answer is obviously and perhaps I will share, one day.  If you are also wondering- yes I eat my children’s Mac n Cheese at restaurants- but so do you stop lying.

It goes without saying that I would have a recipe for it.  I have been perfecting it for years. I have tried different cheeses in the past, but found that keeping it simple goes a long way.

Hope you love it!

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk (eyeball it)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch paprika
  • 3  cups grated Cheddar (1 big block plus one small  block at the store)
  • 2 cups grated Colby/Jack Cheddar  (1 big block at the store)
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs (maybe more)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.
  3. Melt the remaining 7 tablespoons butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the flour brown. Using a whisk, add the milk in a steady stream and cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, and most of the  cups of the cheese (reserve 1/2 cup to add to mix with breadcrumbs to top), and stir well. Add the noodles and stir well. Pour into the prepared dish.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese with the bread crumbs and Essence. Sprinkle evenly over the macaroni and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Ina’s Perfect Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving, that magical time of year when your family gathers and the only thing you do is give thanks and eat good food.  I love it.  My favorite holiday hands down.  No fuss over presents.  No having to pretend to be some mythical creature that leaves candy or surprises for the kids.  Just family and food.

After having my first child, I decided I wanted to start hosting Thanksgiving at our house.  Whether it was just going to be us or our families would come over, I wanted to make this our holiday.  What? I really love turkey.  It’s not weird, you’re weird.

There is something about roasting a turkey that is very intimidating.  The idea of it used to overwhelm me.  Even now when Thanksgiving comes up in conversation (obviously when I bring it up), people seem to put off from hosting Thanksgiving because the idea of roasting the turkey seems to complicated.

I am here to tell you it can be done.  I turned to the person I knew could teach me the ins and outs of roasting the perfect turkey, Ina.   I followed her Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe and have been making her turkey every year ever since.  It is simple but tastes like you had been preparing it for weeks.    I am passing it on to you, treat your bird well.

Happy Basting!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 whole lemon, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise

How to

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves to the butter mixture. Set aside.
  3. Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, quartered onion, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.
  4. Roast the turkey about 2 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Slice the turkey and serve.

Banana Banana Bread

Ever have one of those moments where it is glaringly obvious that you are a mother.  One of those moments for me was the day I had the urge to make banana bread.

My kids go into phases with their food.  Some weeks they will eat a pack of 8 bananas in 2 days and other weeks 4 of the 8 bananas just sit there and I ended up throwing them away.   I don’t know when this started bothering me, but one day I just couldn’t toss them.  I googled a recipe for banana bread until I found one where I had most of the ingredients and it was just downhill from there.  I began hoping they would leave a couple bananas behind for me.  (WTF has become of me?!)

Anyway this recipe from Genius Kitchen has been a huge hit in my family.  It doesn’t need much and it’s absolutely delicious.  Enjoy!

 

What you’ll need:

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly grease 9 x 5 loaf pan or a 8″ cake pan
  3. In large bowl, combine flour, soda and salt.
  4. In separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.
  5. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
  6. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.
  7. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes if using a Loaf Pan and 40-45 minutes in a cake pan or until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
  9. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Cacio e Pepe Will be the Death of Me

I am a pasta loving girl.  It’s usually my go-to on date night or for any group meal.  They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy me pasta and that is pretty damn close.

Lately I’ve been noticing a bit of a trend at each of the Italian spots I’ve been hitting.  Cacio e Pepe is everywhere. At first I was trying to figure out what the big deal was. It is literally pasta, cheese and pepper.  However, I will use the cheesiest line I’ve ever written and say- Love at first bite.

There’s a little spot in Coconut Grove called Sappore di Mare and they actually finish preparing this dish in a bowl of Pecorino and add a little bit of truffle and I can swear I saw God the first time I bit into that.  Wooooo just thinking of that got me all hot and bothered. If you are in the area or planning on coming you should definitely check it out.   It is a hole in the wall- but absolute fire.

Imagine my surprise when a family friend mentioned to my husband and I how easy it was to make at home.  Yes it sounds easy considering there are basically 4 ingredients. But surely the technique or something fancy has to come into play to make something so delicious.  

However the gods have shined upon us- and it is actually attainable at home.  Your bigger problem will be trying not to make this every single day.

As promised here are the ingredients and directions.  However what will really help is watching famous Italian chef, Flavio Velavevodetto do it.  It is a quick video that will make all your pasta dreams come true. Check that out HERE.  

I found the base ingredients and video on Elizabeth Minchilli’s website where she has a pretty amazing spread of delicious recipes and cookbooks if you want to take a look around.

Remember once you master this you can make as much or as little as you want.  The process is always the same you can just adjust the amounts accordingly.

Buon appetito!  

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
  • 1 tbsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking pour the freshly ground (or packaged) Pecorino into a bowl.  Add in most of the ground pepper (reserving a little to garnish at end). Then add a little cold water from the tap.  The trick is to add a little and stir, so you can make sure you achieve a paste consistency. Add a little more water as you go if needed.  Taste it, maybe add more cheese or pepper depending on how you want it to taste.

Once the pasta is done, reserve some of the cooking water.  In a bowl put some of the Pecorino and pepper paste add the pasta and begin to stir quickly.  Add some of the pasta water, continue to stir quickly. You want the sauce to coat the pasta. You can play with it adding a little more paste and water.  

Once finished sprinkle some cheese and pepper and you have yourself some next level Cacio e Pepe! Invite some friends, or just eat it all yourself like we do. 

Catch you next time!

Dad’s Cuban Fried Chicken

This recipe is dedicated to my Abuela, Yaya.  July 6 was her birthday, and since she passed they also made it National Fried Chicken Day.  When Yaya was alive, my parents typically hosted a lunch for the entire family (think around 50 people) to celebrate both 4th of July and her birthday and they always made it Pollo Frito.  My dad always substituted the egg for some Mojo, and just thinking about it my mouth waters a little. 

If you’re ready to shake up your usual recipe, this one packs a big flavor punch. 

12 Chicken Drumsticks or a broiler chicken cut up into pieces up to 4 lbs*

2 cups of mojo

2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon paprika

3 teaspoons pepper, divided (but it will be to your taste)

2 tablespoons salt (kosher preferred) 

1 bottle of Mojo 

1 tablespoons onion powder

½ teaspoon cumin

Smart Balance Oil Blend (half canola half olive oil)

*or you can get a pack of drumsticks, wings, or just bone in chicken breasts- whatever your preference

  1. 12- 24 hours before you plan on making the chicken. place it all in big zip lock bags and cover it in Mojo marinade. 
  2. Begin heating oil until it gets to 375 degrees
  3. Bring the chicken out of the marinade, and allow it to air dry.  Then season it with half the salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. 
  4. In another large zip lock bag place the flour, remaining salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder cumin and paprika. 
  5. Remove the chicken from the flour mixture.  Dust it off and begin to fry for about 5-7 minutes (on medium heat) on each side or until golden brown and juices run clear. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt, and some lime on the side.

Notes: When frying the chicken, the first round will always take a little longer as the oil heats up.  You do not want to overcrowd the pan, that will slow down the cooking.  Take your time, as you do your batches, the heat will only get hotter so you will have to lower it or adjust it as you go.  You do not want to burn the outside and leave the inside uncooked.