Mexican Yucatan Chicken – Pollo Pibil “Authentic” – Perfect Tacos Filling!

Where did the inspiration for this Mexican Yucatan Chicken Pollo Pibil recipe come from?

I am currently eating my way around Mexico and we are visiting the Yucatán Peninsula which is in southeast Mexico on the Caribbean sea.

Here the food dishes are influenced by the Mayan culture in addition to the usual Mexican flavors.

Yucatan Chicken - Pollo Pibil
Yucatan Chicken – Pollo Pibil

Whenever we are traveling I like to do at least one cooking class so I can get a real feeling for how to create the local food.  

On this occasion it’s Mexican Yucatan Chicken – Pollo Pibil.

Doing a class means I am able to see first hand how the food is prepared.  It also allows me to become familiar with any unusual ingredients.

Eating out in restaurants and on the streets of Mexico showed me how badly we have interpreted the Mexican cuisine here.

I’m yet to encounter a Yucatan Chicken or Pollo Pibil like this.

Ingredients for Mexican Yucatan Chicken Pollo Pibil

Ingredients Mexican Yucatan Chicken Skewers  - Pollo Pibil
Mexican Yucatan Chicken Skewers – Pollo Pibil
  • 700 gm chicken thigh fillets
  • Salad
  • 1/2 cup red & white cabbage shredded
  • 1/4 cup carrot shredded
  • 1 Tbs coriander
  • Marinade
  • ½ g x 100 packet “El Yucateco” achiote paste
  • 1 orange juiced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • To Serve
  • 10 corn tortilla’s
  • lime juice

When I had the opportunity to speak to chefs and my cooking teacher. I quizzed them on a few of discrepancies I had noticed in the ingredients for the Mexican Yucatan Chicken Pollo Pibil tacos.

How To Make Mexican Yucatan Chicken Pollo Pibil Tacos

Mexican Yucatan Chicken - Pollo Pibil
Mexican Yucatan Chicken – Pollo Pibil
  1. Slice the chicken thigh fillets into strips. Place in a non-reactive bowl.
  2. Place all the marinade ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken and ensure all the chicken is well covered.
  4. Place the chicken in the fridge and allow it to marinate for at least 3 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  6. Thread the chicken onto skewers.
  7. Place baking paper on a large baking tray and add the skewers to the tray for cooking.
  8. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. (The skewers can also be cooked on a BBQ or pan fried).
  9. Combine salad ingredients while the chicken cooks.
  10. Serve the cooked chicken with tortilla the salad and a squeeze of lime juice.
  11. Enjoy

Making Mexican Yucatan Chicken is great for an outdoor fiesta and entertaining friends.

Differences In Authentic Mexican Recipes Compared to Foreign Versions

I have prepared some interesting culinary faux pas;

  1. Until recently in Australia taco’s have been hard shells, not a soft tortilla.
  2. We use cheese and sour cream on our taco’s whereas I haven’t seen a single taco with these fillings at all.
  3. A tortilla is usually made with Masa Corn Flour, not Wheat Flour.
  4. In Australia, mincemeat is a common Mexican taco filling but in Mexico, they don’t use mince at all.
  5. We make guacamole with sour cream.
  6. Lime is usually used not a lemon in Mexico.
  7. Salsa means sauce in Mexican so a salsa is not chunky its smooth.
  8. What we know as Salsa in Australia (i.e. diced tomato, chill, onion etc) is called Pico.
Mexican Soft Taco
Mexican Soft Taco

So what do you think?  Were there any surprises for you.  The hardest one to get my head around when ordering was that a salsa would always be a smooth sauce.

Mexican Soft Tacos
Mexican Soft Tacos

Yucatan Chicken is such a simple dish but the color and flavor are absolutely delicious.

The meat is marinated in a gorgeous orange spice paste made using achiote and orange juice.

It gives the chicken a lovely mellow flavor which is further enhanced by the charcoal of the barbecue during cooking.

Mexican Tacos w Salsa Verde
Mexican Tacos w Salsa Verde

Yucatan Chicken is a dish that is extremely popular in the Yucatán region.

The marinade can also be used for prawns or fish. The meat is served on Mexican rice or freshly made corn tortilla.

Mexican Yucatan Chicken - Pollo Pibil

Mexican Yucatan Chicken - Pollo Pibil "Authentic" - Best Tacos Filling!

An authentic Mexican chicken recipe is easy to make and can be used in soft taco's or with Mexican Rice. The perfect recipe for "Outdoor BBQ Fiestas"
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 385kcal
Author: Julie

Ingredients

  • 700 g chicken thigh fillets

Salad

  • 1/2 cup red & white cabbage shredded
  • 1/4 cup carrot shredded
  • 1 Tbs coriander

Marinade

To Serve

Instructions

  • Slice the chicken thigh fillets into strips. Place in a non reactive bowl.
  • Place all the marinade ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken and ensure all the chicken is well covered.
  • Place the chicken in the fridge and allow it to marinade for at least 3 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  • Thread the chicken onto skewers.
  • Place baking paper on a large baking tray and add the skewers to the tray for cooking.
  • Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. (The skewers can also be cooked on a BBQ or pan fried).
  • Combine salad ingredients whilst the chicken cooks.
  • Serve the cooked chicken with tortilla the salad and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Enjoy

Notes

Nutrition is for the meat only not the tortilla.

Nutrition

Serving: 210g | Calories: 385kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 171mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 378mg | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 3.3% | Vitamin C: 3.4% | Calcium: 2% | Iron: 7.6%
Mexican Yucatan Chicken w Salsa Verde
Mexican Yucatan Chicken w Salsa Verde

The sauce on the side of the Yucatan Chicken is a Mexican Salsa Verde.  

It’s basically a green hot chili sauce and is found on every salsa bar in Mexico and California.

Yucatan Chicken - Pollo Pibil
Yucatan Chicken – Pollo Pibil

I will be sharing the Salsa Verde recipe in an upcoming story.

It is so easy to make and the flavor is unique to Mexican food.

Pollo Pibil "Pin Me"Mexican Yucatan Chicken.
Pollo Pibil “Pin Me”Mexican Yucatan Chicken.

Feel free to pin the Mexican Yucatan Chicken – Pollo Pibil recipe for later, it’s great cooked on the BBQ.

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