Chicken Pibil in the Instant Pot

a round plate served with chicken pibil and rice

Chicken Pibil is a recipe inspired by the famous cochinita pibil, a Yucatan cuisine, and a favorite dish to enjoy for dinner or a special celebration. The red sauce comes from the achiote paste. The Yucatan-style chicken is not spicy yet citrusy and smoky with a complex flavor yet so comforting.

Pibil is the name of the cooking technique that uses banana leaves and a “pib” (underground dirt and stone oven) to cook the meat slowly to perfection. For the chicken pibil recipe, we are using an Instant Pot and chose skinless chicken thighs.

round plates served with Mexican food

The Yucatan peninsula is a southeastern state in Mexico and its location separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. This state is very well known for its vast culture, prehispanic sites, and fabulous food. I particularly love the array of condiments and European flavors combined with Mexican food flavors.

The Yucatan cuisine has French, Cuban, and creole influences. Techniques like “papillote” with banana leaves, the “ceviche” pickling method, and the use of the annatto condiment is prevalent in many Yucatecan dishes. My favorite is Chicken Pibil or Pollo Pibil which is the recipe I am sharing with you today.

What is achiote?

Achiote is a plant that grows in Central America and Mexico. The plant grows a bulb that looks like a capsule and when ripe gives annatto seeds. The color of the seeds is deep red and in the city of Yaxunah, Yucatan the locals grind the seeds and combine them with spices such as oregano, cumin, black pepper, garlic, and smoked dried habanero. This mix is formed by hand into a small red brick and sundried.

The achiote paste mixed with bitter orange juice becomes an achiote marinade that in Yucatan is called as recado rojo “red condiment.”

Prehispanic civilizations used the achiote as a coloring agent not only for cooking. When working with annatto use an apron and gloves as it stains permanently.

Easy Method on how to prepare recado rojo or achiote sauce for making chicken pibil in the Instant Pot

Achiote paste is available at many Hsipamic supermarkets however if you cannot find it use annatto seeds. The seeds must soak in vinegar the night before for easy blending. And blended with coriander seeds, bay leaves, cloves, cumin, oregano, allspice, lime zest, orange peel and orange juice, kosher salt, garlic, and roasted habanero.

The achiote sauce or recado rojo uses sour orange juice, however, this is another ingredient that is difficult to find. A good replacement for bitter orange is orange juice mixed with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Or otherwise lime juice.

A 3-ounce package of achiote paste makes two and a half cups of achiote sauce when combined with one cup of citrus juice and a quarter cup of vinegar.

Use the blender to make the recado rojo or the molcajete for a traditional blending technique. If bel ding by hand use gloves as the achiote will stain your hands.

Cooking the chicken pibil in the Instant pot is easy!

When choosing the protein of choice we recommend chicken thighs as those are higher in fat and will work best when cooking using the Instant pot or the pressure cooking technique.

Besides chicken thighs will melt in your mouth and the meat will be full of flavor and so juicy. Othersiwe pork butt, pork chops, or pork loin are a delightful choice too. Who doesn’t like a traditional Puerco Pibil?

Set the IP to “saute” mode and sear the pre-marinated chicken thighs using some corn oil or pork lard. Pour the achiote marinade and mix.

For adding banana leaf flavor you can use the frozen open. Cut a small piece, remove teh edges with scissors and toast it on direct fire on the stove for a few seconds on both sides. Then cover the chicken with it before closing the pressure cooker.

Place the lid and close the valve. Set the IP to cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. When ready, do a quick release but we recommend allowing the IP to do a natural release instead.

The chicken pibil recipe is a slow cooker and dutch oven friendly. However, will take a few hours more than using an electric pressure cooker or a standard stovetop pressure cooker.

Serve the chicken pibil with a side of white rice, black beans, pickled onions, and habanero salsa.

The Yucatan-style chicken is perfect for tacos too!

Shredd teh chicken with two forks, grab a few warm corn tortillas, and make chicken pibil tacos. Garnish with red pickled onions, fresh cilantro, and your favorite habanero salsa. Serve the tacos with a side of rice and beans for a complete meal.

Double the amount of chicken and recado rojo to feed a crowd for a party. Include different types of salsas and sides.

In Yucatan, many buy the recados ready to use at the farmer’s market but since we don’t have those premade I am providing the details on how to make your white recado at home. Find the recipe here.

a round plate served with chicken pibil and rice

Chicken Pibil or Pollo Pibil in the Instant Pot

Chef Adriana Martin
Chicken Pibil is a recipe inspired by the famous cochinita pibil, a Yucatan cuisine, and a favorite dish to enjoy for dinner or a special celebration. The red sauce comes from the achiote paste. The Yucatan-style chicken is not spicy yet citrusy and smoky with a complex flavor yet so comforting.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican Cuisine
Servings 4 people
Calories 241 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot
  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

For the achiote sauce or recado rojo

  • 1 package achiote paste 3.5 ounces or 99 grams
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

For the chicken pibil

  • 1 pound skinless chicken thighs 8-10 pieces
  • 1 cup recado blanco Yucatan-style condiment
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil or pork lard
  • 1 1/2 cups recado rojo or achiote marinade

Instructions
 

To make the achiote sauce or recado rojo

  • Break the achiote paste into small pieces and add to the blender.
  • Pour the orange juice and the apple cider vinegar and place the lid on the blender.
  • Blend for 1 minute until getting a smooth sauce.

To make the chicken pibil

  • Place the chicken thighs in a large mixing bowl and season with one cup of the recado blanco.
  • Cover and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes inside the fridge. Recommend to marinate overnight for better taste.
  • Set the IP to “saute” mode and sear the pre-marinated chicken thighs using corn oil or pork lard. Pour the achiote marinade and mix.
  • Place the lid and close the valve. Set the IP to cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. When ready, do a quick release, but we recommend allowing the IP to do a natural release instead.

Notes

  • Achiote paste is available at many Hispanic supermarkets however if you cannot find it use annatto seeds. The seeds must be soaked in vinegar the night before for easy blending. And blended with coriander seeds, bay leaves, cloves, cumin, oregano, allspice, lime zest, orange peel and orange juice, kosher salt, garlic, and roasted habanero.
  • The achiote sauce or recado rojo uses sour orange juice, however, this is another ingredient that is difficult to find. A good replacement is orange juice combined with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Or otherwise lime juice.
  • A 3-ounce package of achiote paste makes two and a half cups of achiote sauce when combined with one cup of citrus juice and a quarter cup of vinegar.
  • Use the blender to make the recado rojo or the molcajete for a traditional blending technique. If blending by hand use gloves as the achiote will stain your hands.
  • When choosing the protein of choice we recommend chicken thighs as those are higher in fat and will work best when cooking using the Instant pot or the pressure cooking technique.
  • Besides chicken thighs will melt in your mouth and the meat will be full of flavor and so juicy. Othersiwe pork butt, pork chops, or pork loin are a delightful choice too.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 24gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 108mgPotassium: 608mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 356IUVitamin C: 57mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 3mg
Keyword chicken, pibil, Tacos
Tried this recipe?Mention @adrianasbestrecipes or tag #abrecipes on Instagram

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

13 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
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!

Mayra Rodriguez

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

laura Rodriguez

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

Myrah Falco Duque

Que rico!

ChecaLAmovie

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

13
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x