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Yucatán favourite pibil is a slow-roasted pork or chicken dish with a characteristic bright red sauce. The colour comes from annatto seeds, which form part of a mix of spices in achiote paste, which is mostly used for marinating meat or vegetables before cooking. This fast version can be cooked straight away, but it’s also good to marinate the chicken for a day or two before cooking.

Prep: 10 MINS
Cook Time: 30 MINS
Serves: 4-6


Heat a grill and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place the tomato, onion and garlic under grill until blackened.

When cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the vegetables.

Put into a blender with the cumin seeds and blitz to paste.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the chicken, and blitz until smooth.

Put the sauce in a saucepan and bring up to a boil. Simmer for 5 mins then add the chicken.

Simmer for another 20 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Meanwhile, reduce the sauce by half.

Return the chicken to the sauce. Season to taste.

Serve with rice and pickled red onion.

For the pickled red onion: combine all the ingredients and leave for 30 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally.


1 tomato
1 small onion, unpeeled
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons achiote paste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
700g chicken thighs

For the picked red onion:

2 red onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons sugar

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