The chicken for my paleo chilaquiles was inspired by my trip to Tulum, where you can find pollo pibil at pretty much all the local taco shops and chicken stands. I think I am most inspired by the food of the Yucatan Peninsula. As a matter of fact I flip, through David Sterling’s gigantic cookbook on the topic and dream of Mexico all the time.
What are Recados?
The food in this part of the Mexico revolves around seasoning pastes called recados. One of the most common is Recado Rojo. If you visit a market during your trip to Mexico you are sure to discover a stall selling recados in all colors of the rainbow, red, black, green. Many of these recados are hard to find here in the US, but recado rojo can be found pretty easily.
Recado Rojo is an achiote paste mixed with spices can be purchased at any local specialty grocer, local latin grocer or online. If you buy your achiote paste at a latin grocery store go ahead and buy some banana leaves. You will end up with WAAAAY more banana leaves than you need, but don’t worry the whole darn bag is less than $2.00
Banana Leaves and Sour Orange
You don’t HAVE to use banana leaves but I think cooking the chicken in in the banana leaves gives a lovely flavor that can’t be replicated. Very much like the Honduran Skirt Steak, this marinade traditionally calls for naranja agria (sour orange). However, this particular ingredient is EXTREMELY difficult to find here in the US. So, we are using a combination of orange, lime and grapefruit juice to bring that lovely sour, sweet citrus flavor to the party. Naranja Agria might seem exotic and hard but, it is actually very simple to make. Don’t let the unfamiliar ingredients scare you away from make it!
Once you have made the pollo pibil you can use it all kinds of ways! Crisp it up in a pan and use it on tacos, in the morning with eggs, in a fitatta, buritto, a mexican inspired soup. There is no limit to what you can do… if it sounds good; try it!
I will earn a small commision on some of the products on this page if you purchase through my link. I have only recommended products I know and love. I have not recieved anything from these companies for free.