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Recipe Ingredients

For the Chicken Pibil

  • 2 lb. chicken breast (approx 1 kg), cut in big pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice (approx 355 ml)
  • 5 Tbsp. white vinegar (75 ml)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. achiote paste (or 4 tsp. ground achiote)
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 banana leaves, rinsed and dried (optional)

For the Pickled Onions

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • 3/4 cup orange juice (177ml)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (59 ml)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar (118ml)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. oregano

For Serving

  • 12 tostadas (find these in the Hispanic foods aisle)
  • 2 cups cooked refried beans (473 ml)
  • cheese to taste
  • 2 avocados

Recipe Directions

  1. Pour orange juice and vinegar in a blender. Add garlic, achiote, oregano, salt, cumin, cloves, and black peppercorns. Blend well. Set aside.
  2. If you are using banana leaves. Heat a comal, skillet or griddle. Place a cleaned and dried banana leaf on top and see how quickly it changes color from a dull to a bright green.
  3. Keep moving it until the whole surface changes color and then remove. You will notice the leaf is now flexible and more resistant to tearing.
  4. Use your preferred pot. For this recipe, I’m using my electric pressure cooker. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pot, place the rack inside, and then the banana leaves. We want to make a kind of pouch to envelop the chicken.
  5. Place the chicken on top of the banana leaf, pour the pibil sauce over the chicken, add bay leaves, then fold the banana leaves over to cover the meat. Place the rest of the banana leaves on top.
  6. Set the timer to 10 minutes and put the valve on the “sealing” position. It will take approx 10 minutes to reach pressure. Once the cooking time is over, turn off and allow the pressure to come down on its own accord, approx 15-17 minutes.
  7. Please check the settings on your pressure cooker, and consult the user’s manual, as they may vary.
  8. While the chicken is cooking, make the pickled onions.
  9. Slice the red onion and habanero, put them in a bowl, pour warm water over them to cover and let them rest for 5 minutes. Drain the water.
  10. Pour orange juice, lemon juice and vinegar over the drained onions and add oregano and salt. Stir until salt is completely dissolved. Cover and set aside.
  11. When the pressure has released, open the pot, remove the banana leaves, and shred the chicken. Next, cook the chicken for another 5 minutes to allow the sauce to coat all the chicken.
  12. For serving: take a tostada, put a layer of refried beans on top, a layer of lettuce, a layer of chicken pibil, top with the cheese, pickled onions, and avocado. That’s it.

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