The chicken pibil (Pollo pibil)

Pollo Pibil is the version with chicken of the famous mayan Cochinita Pibil... The divine mayan pibil method works deliciously well with chicken as well to create this very original Yucatecan taste. The indispensable ingredient is of course the Achiote, the basis for many mayan dishes... Mayans actually have this recipe with habanero chiles instead of the serrano chiles I used here, but those are way too hot for my own stomach!

Chicken Pibil

Mayan recipe for Chicken Pibil

Ingredients for 4 portions:

* One whole chicken, skinned and cut in pieces
* Banana leaves, if available
* One achiote red paste pack
* Enough orange juice (see below)
* 2 tablespoons ground Allspice
* 2 tablespoons white vinegar
* 1 Yellow onion, quartered

The onions:
* Water, as needed
* Fresh cilantro, as desired
* Lemon juice from the equivalent of one lemon
* 1 teaspoon ground Allspice
* 2 tablespoons white vinegar
* 1 Red onion, sliced
* 3 Serrano peppers


1) Clean the chicken, trimming out the unnecessary fat, and cutting it in separate parts. Dissolve the powdered achiote in the orange juice; you will need enough orange-achiote mixture juice to cover the chicken when cooking it in the pan.

2) Boil the banana leaves for 1 or 2 minutes to make them more pliable; In a deep roasting pan, line the bottom and sides with the banana leaves so that they stick out on each side, if you have banana leaves at your disposal of course..

3) Pour some oil in the pan you will cook this Chicken Pibil in, heat up the oil over low heat setting, and pour a generous amount of Allspice in the oil. Put the chicken pieces in the pan and pour the mixed achiote-orange mixture we just did in the first step over the chicken; add in the yellow onion quarters. Fold the banana leaves over to cover; and cover the roasting pan with its tight fitting lid.

4) Preheat the oven to 300 ˚F, cook the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour.

5) Meanwhile, put the sliced red onion in a large bowl and pour a bit of hot water over it and wait 5 minutes. Once the five minutes is up, drain.

Put the onions in a bowl and pour the two tablespoons vinegar over them. Sprinkle one teaspoon allspice powder over the onions, pour the lemon juice over and mix gently. Mix in the sliced serrano peppers with the onions; also mix in the chopped fresh cilantro.

6) When the chicken is cooked and tender, your chicken pibil meal is ready...

Serve the chicken with some achiote sauce from the pan poured over; put some marinated red onions on top and serve with genuine corn tortillas and some refried beans...

mexican recipes
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