Yucatán Pollo Pibil

Yucatán Pollo Pibil (fast-fried)

Pibil was a method to prevent meat from spoiling. It dates back to the time of the Maya civilization in Yucatán. The mild yet earthy, slightly bitter achiote, aka annatto, matches perfectly with the sour orange-vinegar-juice in the seasoning called ‘recardo rojo’. If you have the time, we recommend the authentic slow-cooked version and the addition of salsa bandera.
Hands-on time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 3


  • 1 lb chicken breast thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes halved, sliced
  • 12 tortillas corn recommended
  • 2 large red onions halved, finely sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic grated
  • 0.5 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 lemon optionally, cut into wedges
  • oil
  • salt

Pollo Pibil Culinary Spice Kit

  • [1] Annatto cumin, allspice, oregano, turmeric, cloves
  • [2] Smoked paprika

Optional for Appetizer Dip ’Ha Sikil Pak’

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds white if possible
  • 1 large tomato roughly cut
  • 1 tbsp onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 8 oz tortilla chips or jicama sticks



  • In a BOWL, mix chicken, 1 tbsp vinegar, orange juice, Pibil [1] spices, garlic, and salt to taste.
  • Cover and keep in the fridge for 2-24 hours.

Pickled Onions

  • In a CUP, mix 1/2 cup of water, 1 tbsp vinegar, half of the onions, and a dash of salt.
  • Cover and keep in the fridge for 2-24 hours.


  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat.
  • Add chicken without the marinade.
  • Fry the chicken until all pieces turn brown.
  • Take it out and set aside.
  • In the same PAN, add the marinade, tomatoes, the remaining onions, and salt to taste.
  • Mix well. Cover. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Return the meat to reheat.

Optional Appetizer Dip ’Ha Sikil Pak’

  • In a BLENDER, grind pumpkin seeds, then blend with 1/4 cup of water, onions, tomato, and Pibil [2] spices.
  • Transfer to a BOWL.
  • Mix in cilantro and salt to taste.


  • Serve appetizer with tortilla chips or jicama, then chicken with tortillas, pickled onions, and optionally, salsa bandera and lemon juice.
  • Enjoy!


  • Substitute chicken with pork tenderloin, beef sirloin, sliced squash, or beans (pinto or black).
  • Add fresh Habanero chili to the pickled onions.
  • Find the recipes for the authentic slow-cooked version and salsa bandera here.
Marceline Reid-Jaques
Marceline Reid-Jaques
Karen Jones
Karen Jones
Wonderful, flavorful meals using readily available ingredients!
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ann davis
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Jessica Brown
The best way to try new dishes!

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