Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pollo Pibil

Yucatecan Barbecued Chicken


2 chicken breast fillets, cut in half longways
50g achiote paste
juice of half an orange
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
sea salt
olive oil


1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons vinegar or lime juice
splash of fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
sea salt


Mix the achiote paste, orange juice and salt in a bowl,add the chicken and mix well. Marinade for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

Mix all the ingredients for the salsa together and refrigerate for an hour.

Heat oil in a frying pan, add the onion and fry until translucent then add the tomato and cook for a few more minutes. Place the chicken in individual parcels made of banana leaves or aluminium foil and top with a little of the onion and tomato mix. Cook in the oven or the barbecue for 20 minutes.

Serve on a tortilla topped with the onion salsa.

Achiote Paste

Annatto Seeds

Achiote paste is a sauce made from annatto seeds, spices and tomatoes which originated in the Yucatán region of Mexico. The achiote trees are commonly found in Latin America and the Caribbean and are thought to have originated in Brazil.

It was probably not originally used as a food but for body paint, to ward off evil, as an insect repellent and for painting. It was also used by the ancient Aztecs who called it achiotl.

It is used in food as a colouring and for flavour. The flavour is described as 'slightly sweet and peppery'.


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