1 Chicken (2 kg) cutted in 8 pieces
½ cup of orange juice
2 spoons of aixote paste
2 garlic cloves
8 banana leaves (around 40 cm)
2 medium red onions
2 medium tomatoes
A lime


1- On a pot dissolve the axiote in orange juice in low heat.

2- Clean, dry the chicken and poke it with a fork to allow the sauce be better absorbed.

3- Dice the garlic and add it to the pot with the axiote, also a pinch of salt. Once the aixiote is completely dissolved set aside.

4- Marinate the chicken with the axiote and chill in the fridge for 3 hours, turning the pieces upside down every hour.

5- Also cut one of the onions into julienne and marinate it with the lime juice and chill.

6- Once the chicken is ready preheat the oven at 200°.

7- Cut the other onion and tomatoes in slices.

8- Clean the banana leaves and in each one of the 8 pieces place at the center the ingredients this way:

One onion and one tomato slices.
A chicken piece
One onion and one tomato slices.
A couple of spoons of the axiote sauce.

Create a bag with the banana leave and seal it with a kitchen twine. Then cover each package with aluminium foil.

9- Now it is ready to go in the oven at 200ºC for 45 minutes

10- To serve get rid of the aluminium foil and place each banana leave bag in each plate, now open them and decorate the inside with the marinated onion.

¡Buen provecho!

A little history

The pibil is a traditional cooking technique from the Yucatan province in the south of Mexico,
(this recipe wouldn’t actually be called pibil but a makun in mayan).
Piib is a hole on the ground and things are cooked over carbon. This traditional ovens were originally used for festivities, specially the mayan Day of the Death called Hanal Pixan. Must of the recipes in Yucatán are now made with chicken or pork but originally they were made with wild turkey or sometimes with deer or pheasant. Piib was commonly used by mayans and marinating in axiote was also common in prehispanic times, but as things go this recipe is another example of the migrations through food as the banana and orange are asian in origin, carried to Europe by the arabs and then to Mexico and the rest of the American continent.

Something interesting…

In a study turkish scientists compared the economic profit on organic chicken production with the industrial chicken production, For the experiment they used 800 chickens, half of them for the organic and half of them for the industrial test.

The results showed that even the costs of production are bigger on the organic farming, as well the benefits are. An organic chicken can be sold between 150% and 180 % at a higher price than an intensive farming one. To support their study they compared similar studies and they reached the conclusion the profit margins were similar.

The article is published here Brazilian Journal of Poultry science


As we all know chicken has a lot of protein 20 grams for 100 gr, and not many fats thats why it is highly recommended in diets, specially in low carbs diets.

The achiote it a widely used spice but not very known, from the achiote we get the bixtina which is one of the favourite colorants of the food industry. Did you know that it is where the Mimolette and Cheddar cheeses colour comes from? This amazing strong colour means that the axiote naturally contains carotenoids that protect the cells from oxidation and also has anti-inflammatory properties. It also has calcium, always good for the bones and it also has anti-bacterial and fungicide properties. It it used in the traditional mayan medicine used to treat different skin conditions and other illnesses as diarrhea.