Picture thinly pounded chicken breasts marinating in a sour orange garlic marinade aka mojo marinade then seared until it’s browned and juicy.
It’s perfect every time. Every! Time!
What is Pollo a la Plancha?
Pollo a la Plancha [pronounced poh-yoh ah lah plahn-chah] translates to chicken cooked on a griddle. The word plancha translates to “iron”. In this context, however, the word refers to a “griddle”.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
You often hear how chicken breast is hard to cook or how it’s dry, boring, and flavorless.
Well, I’m happy to report, that’s not the case with this recipe!
This pollo a la plancha:
- Only needs to marinate for 20 minutes
- Has an intense citrusy-garlic flavor
- Results in a tender, juicy texture and,
- Has a golden brown sear
Say goodbye to boring, dry chicken breasts forever!
Let me show you how to make it with sauteed onions on top.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Mojo marinade. A delicious citrus-garlic marinade that is popular in Cuban cuisine. I have all the details on how to make this mojo criollo at home however you can use storebought if you prefer.
- Homemade sazon completa. This is my own spice blend of ground coriander, ground annatto, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Find the full sazon completa recipe here.
Save the rest of the spice blend in a jar and use it to make my Cuban grilled chicken thighs (pollo asado!).
- Neutral oil. Mom uses a blend of both oil and unsalted butter to pan-fry the chicken. You can use one or the other, or both. Either way, it will be delicious!
- Sliced white or yellow onion. This is optional but delicious. This griddled chicken breast is typically served with sauteed onions on top.
- Chicken breasts. This recipe is specifically for boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are pounded thin. I order mine from Butcher Box!
Butcher Box is a service that curates boxes of grass-fed, no-hormone-added, humanely raised beef, chicken, pork, salmon + sustainable seafood and, they deliver it right to your door. I love getting my box delivered directly to me. There are always specials – like free bacon or free ground beef – you gotta check them out! Click here to find out more info on Butcher Box!
- Tenderize the chicken. On a cutting board, place chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, slightly pound the chicken breasts until they’re 1/4-inch thin. Don’t skip this step! Pounding chicken breasts tenderizes the meat which helps it cook evenly and results in a juicier texture.
- Marinate the chicken breasts. In a large shallow dish, add the thin chicken breasts. Pour the mojo marinade and season with complete seasoning on both sides. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Cook the chicken. In a griddle, grill pan, or large skillet, heat oil at medium heat. Working in batches, remove chicken breasts from the marinade, shaking off any excess, and place them on the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
What To Serve With This Recipe
You can serve this juicy, seasoned chicken breast with:
- White rice
- Spanish yellow rice
- Black beans
- Sweet plantains
- Moros (Cuban black beans & rice)
You can keep cooked chicken breasts in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Cuban Pollo a la Plancha (Easy Griddled Chicken Breast)
- On a cutting board, place chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, slightly pound the chicken breasts until they're 1/4-inch thin. Don't skip this step! Pounding chicken breasts tenderizes the meat which helps it cook evenly and results in a juicier texture.
- In a shallow dish, add the chicken breasts. Pour the mojo marinade and season with homemade sazon completa on both sides. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- In a griddle, grill pan, or large skillet, heat oil at medium heat. Working in batches, remove chicken breasts from the marinade, shaking off any excess, and place them on the pan.
- Cook them for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Serve with white rice, black beans, and/or sweet plantains. Enjoy!
Originally posted in January 2018. Updated recipe & photos in March 2022.