Pollo Pibil is a Mexican chicken dish from the Yucatan in which chicken is smothered with achiote paste and sour orange juice and slow cooked in banana leaves over hot wood coals in a hole in the ground. As we don’t have a hole to dig aboard, I slow roast the pibil in a crockpot.
Achiote paste is a dark red paste made of ground annato seeds that can be found in Latin grocery stores that has a soft, earthy flavor, similar to saffron. For this spin on a traditional Pollo Pibil, I use split chicken breasts (though thighs can be used for the budget cook) and slow cooked them in a delicious Achiote spiced sauce.
3 lbs skinless split chicken breasts
1/2 cup sour orange juice
2 habaneros, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 onion, chopped into quarters
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
4 tbsp Achiote paste
1/4 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the crock pot.
In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients to form the sauce. Pour over the chicken.
Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours until the chicken can be easily shredded from the rib with a fork. Shred the chicken (discard rib bone) and let everything cook for 30 more minutes with the crock pot lid off. Leaving the lid off will help some of the water evaporate so the sauce thickens up.
Makes excellent tacos or burritos, or serve over yellow rice, Garnish with cilantro, cebolla mordada (from last month’s recipe) or pico de gallo. Enjoy! JW