"One of the most amazing gastronomical places in Mexico, is the Yucatan area, which is the birthplace of the delicious “cochinita pibil” (pork in annatto seeds sauce), which I have to say: I love!!! This is a healthier version of this dish, made with chicken instead of pork, but still so tasty, savory and delicious, as the original one. Don’t feel intimidated by the extremely red-orangeish color of the “achiote” (annatto seeds), neither to add a good amount of red onion or habanero chile… They will make it even better! Enjoy!"
Total Servings: 4
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp or dried (mexican if possible) oregano
- 1 tsp of sea salt
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 package of achiote paste
- 1 cup of orange juice
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar or lime juice
- 2 whole big banana leaves, slightly roasted to tenderize them
- 4 chicken breasts cut in half
- 2 bay leaves
- - olive oil
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- - Toppings:
- 1 small red onion, julienned
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 pinch of dried oregano
- 3 whole black peppercorns
- 4 habanero chiles, julienned
- Crush together the peppercorns, garlic, salt and oregano in a mortar.
- Slightly heat half a cup of the orange juice and dissolve the achiote paste, until there are no lumps. Then add the rest of the orange juice, the vinegar, the crushed spices and mix together.
- Cover a baking dish with the banana leaves, leaving the edges out enough to wrap the chicken later. Put the chicken inside, pour in the juice mix. Drop in the bay leaves, a drizzle of oil and the oregano, and wrap with the banana leaves, creating a package. Let it marinate for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Bake the chicken for about 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is well cooked. Take it out and let it cool until you are able to shred it. Put the shredded chicken and the sauce/juices in a saucepan and boil until the chicken is very tender and the sauce has thickened.
- To prepare the toppings, mix the vinegar, oregano and whole peppercorns and pour over the julienned red onion and habanero chiles. Let them marinate for at least 2-3 hours, so they can absorb the flavors and tenderize.
- You can eat tacos or tortas out of this chicken, and always put as many onion, chiles, or refried beans as you want! Enjoy!