Chicken Pibil or Pollo Pibil #ABRecipes

Chicken Pibil or Pollo Pibil #ABRecipes

Chicken Pibil or Pollo Pibil

The Yucatan peninsula is a southeastern state in Mexico and it’s location separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. This state is very well known for its vast culture, pre hispanic sites and fabulous food. I particularly love the array of condiments and european flavors combined with Mexican food flavors. The Yucatan cuisine is influenced by the french, the cuban and the creole flavors that is why in the combinations you will see techniques like “papillote” using banana leaves, “ceviche” pickling method and the use of the annatto condiment also called achiote in many dishes. My favorite is Chicken Pibil or Pollo Pibil which is the recipe I will share with you today.

Achiote Condiment for Chicken Pibil #ABRecipes

Achiote Condiment for Chicken Pibil


  • 4 chicken breasts with skin and bone or one whole chicken
  • 1 package of achiote or annatto paste (100 grams or 3.5 ounces. I you cannot find paste use granulated annatto instead)
  • 3 cups of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 teaspoons of Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 purple onions cut in rounds
  • 1 habanero or 2 serrano chiles cut in rounds
  • 1 tablespoon of pickling condiment
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of water

Preparation time: 2 hours. Serves 4-6 guests. Approximate cost per serving is around $3.00 depending on the cost of the ingredients at your local supermarket. You will need a pressure cooker and a food processor. I you don’t have a pressure cooker you can use a slow cooker instead though cooking time will extend for several hours.

Start by combining the achiote paste with the orange juice, the garlic, the oregano, the cumin, salt, and the vinegar in the food processor. When all ingredients are perfectly combined add the olive oil and  pour this paste to the chicken breasts and let it marinade for 1 hour inside the fridge.

In the meantime you wait for the chicken to get the pibil flavors, prepare pickled onions by cutting them in rounds, then in a pot add the pickling condiments, the salt, water and the vinegar and let this preparation simmer at medium heat. When water is boiling add the chiles and the onions, turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Cooking pickled onions is very simple and you can store in a mason jar for later use.

To continue with the process of cooking the chicken pibil, take the chicken out of the fridge and place the chicken with the pibil marinade inside your pressure cooker and add the bay leaves. Close the cooker and cook the chicken for 30-40 minutes at medium heat.

Chicken Pibil a Yucatan cuisine favorite #ABRecipes

Chicken Pibil a Yucatan cuisine favorite #ABRecipes

When ready open your pressure cooker following the instructions to avoid safety hazards and serve the dish with a side of white rice, the pickled onions and fresh warm corn tortillas.

Chicken Pibil or Pollo Pibil is a Yucatan cuisine favorite to enjoy for dinner or a special celebration. Indeed food for those with royal palate, a dish worth to be served to kings and queens!

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Author:Chef Adriana Martin

Adriana Martin is a Latina writer born in Mexico who is specialized in recipe development using fresh and seasonal ingredients. The inspiration behind her recipes is based on the culinary culture of Mexico and influenced by the Mediterranean cuisine and grilling which is one of her passions. Adriana likes to read about the latest trends in cuisine, learn about new cultures, travel the world discovering new ingredients and sharing with famous chefs. She is a wife, friend, step mom, grandmother and animal lover.

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    la primera y única vez que como ese platillo fue en Cancun y te digo que me quede encantada, fue el platillo que mas me gusto.. gracias por la receta a ver si me sale :)

    • Adriana Martin

      Gracias Daily este platillo es sin duda sabrosisimo el secreto es marinar lo suficiente. Besos!

  • Yadira

    I have never seen that paste. I use the powder version. Must try!

  • Karina Fernández

    Nunca había visto el achiote en barra. Compro los sobrecitos en polvo, La receta se vé muy apetitosa.

  • Sandra Del Rocio Perez

    Excelente opción, me encanta el sabor del achiote este platillo se ve irresistible.

  • Adriana Hogar-Mujer

    Se ve muy apetitoso este pollito, tampoco he visto el achiote en pasta.

  • Barbara Mascareno

    I love this already, especially since you can put everything in the slow cooker.

  • Natalia Carter

    Es sin duda una de mis salsas preferidas! Esta receta me encanta!

  • Yissele Shirley

    Qué rico, tengo que probar ese pollito! 😉
    ¡FELIZ DÍA!ॐ

  • diana rodriguez

    Se ve maravilloso ese pollo!

  • ChecaLAmovie

    Delicioso… Se delicioso y debe estarlo, que lástima que no seamos vecinas para visitarte un día !!!!

  • Myrah Falco Duque

    Que rico!

  • laura Rodriguez

    Adriana se ve delicioso, no tengo olla a presión pero tengo slow cooker. Gracias por la receta.

  • Mayra Rodriguez

    Tus recetas siempre son tan interesantes y me gusta que le añades la historia y trasfondo de los platos.

  • Negra Flor

    Tengo a mi marido colapsado pasándole tus recetas, Adriana, porque es él quien cocina en la casa. Creo que este plato lo podríamos probar cuando tengamos invitados.

    Gracias, Adriana!

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