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Jun 9, 2007 01:35 AM

Does anyone have a recipe for the garlic marinade from Versailles Cuban restaurant (Los Angeles area)?

They call it the "Versailles Mojo". It's basically a citrusy garlic marinade sauce. If not the exact recipe, an approximate version would be fine.

Here's the restaurant's link:

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  1. Wow, I hope you get a response. I haven't lived in L.A. for 15 years but I still long for that chicken.

    1. Oh my god, thats the place! I have been trying to remember the name of the cuban restaurant I went to where I had the best garlic chicken. Awesome! Hopefully someone does have the recipe or one similar.

      1. Here is the recipe for the sauce:

        Cuban Garlic Sauce- Mojo (pronounced Moho not Mojoe)

        1/2 cup olive oil
        8-10 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
        1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
        2/3 cups sour orange juice or substitue using 1/3 cup lime juice plus 1/3 cup fresh orange juice. (I'm going to have to play around with this ratio of lime to orange juice or maybe try using lemon juice in place of lime.)
        1/3 cup water
        2 tsp cumin
        1 tsp oregano
        2 tsp salt
        1 tsp pepper
        1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

        Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add the chopped garlic and onions cooking until a pale golden brown. Stir in the citrus juices and water plus the dry herbs and spices- cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil for 4-5 minutes. Add more salt or pepper to taste.

        Remove from heat and let cool. The cilantro can be added at this time. Stir and enjoy. The sauce can be refrigerated and may be kept for several weeks.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Ultradm78

          How long do you marinade the chicken? TIA

          1. re: Fog City Kid

            Could this marinade be used in a slow cooker for pork???

            1. re: Fog City Kid

              I use mojo for both chicken and pork, and the longer the marinade the better. When we have a BBQ we marinate the chicken at least three days (we like it strong) and I've marinated pork shoulder pieces for double that. The pork is excellent in the slow cooker... and we tend to grill the chicken.

              --Lisa in Fort Lauderdale

              1. re: ldkelley

                Absolutely. I season a pork shoulder with a little cumin and salt and pepper, sometimes cut slits and put slivered garlic in the meat all over, and sear. Then into a crock pot over some sliced onions and bay leaves, cover in a few cups of mojo criollo and a bottle of latin beer, and cook on low until very tender. It's amazing pulled apart, drizzled with a bit of the rendered fat, and crisped up in a hot oven. Fold into tortillas with pickled jalapenos, sliced radish, cilantro, and white onion. SO GOOD!

          2. re: Ultradm78

            What are the flavours like when done and why so good. Do tell.

            1. re: Ultradm78

              Great! Thanks, ultra. I'm going to try this tonight.

              1. re: Ultradm78

                Ok, so I made this recipe last night. My report:

                I made the marinade according to the specs in Ultradm's post (I had access to actual sour orange juice, so I used that rather than an orange/lime combo) on Monday morning and applied it to six leg-thigh pieces of chicken which I covered and refrigerated until I started cooking at about 5pm yesterday, so figure the chicken marinated for about 30 hours. I then fricasseed the chicken in rough accordance with some other recipes I found online - dried and browned the pieces, then simmered them in a covered pan for about half an hour. Then I finished the dish under the broiler to re-crisp the chicken skin.

                It was very good - but I found it didn't quite reach the almost-too-much intensity of garlic/citrus flavor that I remember from the Versailles original - this despite the fact that I added a few additional chopped garlic cloves midway through the simmering process. So next time I may either up the garlic/citrus content, or cook the chicken more thoroughly during the initial browning, so that I can cut the simmering time down (which, I feel, mellowed the flavors of the sauce).

                Anyone else try this yet?

                1. re: GDSwamp

                  I believe they also baste with marinade (fresh not any that's had raw chicken involved) over the meat as it cooks. Also, I wouldn't marinate anything with citrus for that long. Citrus can "cook" the meat. Think ceviche.

                  1. re: Jennalynn

                    Well, I hear you in principle, but in fact the citrus didn't "cook" the chicken at all, so I guess either the citrus content of the marinade was low enough, the time was short enough, or chicken isn't so easily "cooked."

                    Also, since I was fricassee'ing the chicken in the marinade I think basting would have been redundant - it was sitting in a pan full of the stuff.

                    But if you've got a line on Versailles' roasting technique, please share.

                2. re: Ultradm78

                  Hi there-- I found your post on Versaille's Chicken recipe-- am trying to find Sour Orange juice. My neighbor told me the Vallarta grocery chain carries such- in bottles like wine bottles called Naranja something or other in their marinade isle.. I wonder if Tangerines or Kumquat juice might work... planning to try this recipe this weekend... Anyways, thought to share.. thanks for your original post!

                3. can also buy this bottled @ any Versailles location :)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Ultradm78

                    Not if you live in San Francisco and still long for it...

                    1. re: Carrie 218

                      You can buy mojo online - most of the latin folks I know don't make their own.


                  2. Mojo marinade is one of my favorites. I use the marinade to braise pork shoulder. Strain the juices and reduce. OMG! So good!In the "Three Guys From Miami Cook Cuban" cookbook, there is a recipe for L.A. Garlic Sauce.5 cloves garlic1/2 cup olive oil2 tbsp white vinegar1/2 cup sour orange juicesalt and pepper to tastePuree the garlic, oil and vinegar, slowly add the orange juice. Should end up with a thick whitish emulsion. Use it to marinade, dip, baste, braise....Or here is a Chimichurri recipe1 cup cilantro leaves8 cloves garlic1/4 cup vinegarjuice of 1 limecouple dashs red pepper flakes2/3 cup olive oilsalt and pepper to tastePulse (in a blender or food processor) cilantro, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, red pepper flakes. You want them chopped finely not mashed up. Put in a bowl and slowly wisk in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste or more vinegar and lime. Use for dips, on top of steaks!!!, and enythiing else you can think of.Check out It's a good site and you can find numerous recipes. I especially love the tres leches cake. My favorite dessert now.