Chicken Pibil (Pollo Pibil)

Yucatecan Barbecued Chicken
Yucatan, Mexico

Serves 4
8    Chicken thighs, skinned and boned if you wish
½    Package El Yucateco Achiote Paste (aprox. 50 grms)
½    Cup white vinegar or fresh orange juice
½    Teaspoon salt
8    Pieces of banana leaves about 30 by 30 cm or Foil paper
4    Tablespoons vegetable oil
1    Large White Onion, sliced in 8 thin slices
2    Tomatoes, sliced in 8 thick slices
½    Teaspoon achiote paste
12    Tortillas Carmelita

Red Onion and Tomato Salsa
½    Onion (if you prefer the red one) finely chopped in small squares
1    Tomato, finely chopped in small squares
2    branches of coriander, roughly chopped
½    Lime Juice
    Salt to taste
1    Teaspoon Oil
1     Teaspoon Oregano
1/3     Teaspoon Sliced Habanero El Yucateco finely chopped

Prick the chicken all over with a fork.
With your hands crumble the Achiote Paste, add the vinegar or the orange juice and salt, mix it very well to get a thin sauce. Thoroughly rub the achiote into the chicken.

For Banana Leaves: Unfold and cut off the long, hard side of the leaf (where it was attached to the central vein). Look for holes or rips, then cut the leaf into unbroken desire size. Set up a large steamer with about 3cms of water, loosely roll up the banana leaf squares, place in the steamer, cover and steam for about 20 minutes, until the leaves are soft and very pliable. Or simply pass the banana leaves slowly over a medium gas flame, one at a time, until they change the texture and become more flexible.

Wrap the bananas leaves or the foil paper around the chicken to make a small package.
Set it aside to season, refrigerated, preferably overnight or minimum 2 hours.

Preheat the oven or barbecue to 190oC (375oF).
Prepare the salsa mixing all the ingredients and refrigerate minimum 1 hour.

Sautee the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the tomato and the ½ teaspoon seasoning paste and fry it gently on both sides.

Unwrap the chicken. Put half the onion and tomato under the chicken and the other half on top. Wrap it up again in the leaf.

Place the “package” into the dish and cover it tightly. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn it over, baste with the juices and cook for another 20 minutes, or until just tender. Do not overcook.

Turn the oven up to 230oC (450oF). Remove the cover, open up the leaf, and let the chicken brown on top. Served still wrapped in the banana leaf, topping with the Salsa and accompanied with Tortillas.