Greg's pollo pibil
Mexican chicken steamed with fruit juice
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Pollo pibil was originally steamed in banana leaves; this recipe comes form the German translation of the Time-Life Latin American cookbook, a copy of which (also in German) is on the web. And, as usual, I had great difficulties with the quantities: 2 kg of chicken and only a total of 1 teaspoons of 4 different spices (including cumminseed, or, if you can't get that, caraway seed, which tastes completely different). It also uses equal quantities of cinnamon and cloves. It can only get away with that because of the minuscule quantities; otherwise the cloves would be overpowering. The current version of this recipe uses only a third of the amount of chicken, but 10 g of those same spices.


quantity       ingredient       step
2 g       Dried oregano       1
5 g       Cumminseed       1
3 g       Cinnamon       1
0.4 g       Cloves       1
2 g       Pepper       1
15 g       achiote       1
9 g       Garlic       2
80 ml       Orange juice       2
40 ml       Lemon juice       2
5 g       Salt       2
650 g       Chicken pieces       3


  1. Grind the spices finely, possibly in a blender (I used a mini-blender this time). Add the achiote last.

  2. Crush the garlic into the juices and dissolve the salt. Then add the spices and mix.

  3. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Refrigerate for 12 hours or more.

  4. Steam the chicken until cooked. The original recipe places the pieces on a base of aluminium foil, possibly to prevent the juices from running off. The original dish is done in banana leaves, so this may be a way to imitate that environment. It also states a time of 1 hours, which seems completely excessive.

  5. Serve with tortillas.

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