Chicken Pibil

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I made a version of this for a family taco-night and although I don’t really eat much meat anymore I thought this was bloody good.  Eating meat is definitely a special occasion for me and so when I do eat it, I make sure that I buy the chicken from a butcher.  I only buy quality meat once in a blue moon so I don’t mind paying a little more for it.  This recipe is a classic from the Yacatàn area in Mexico and it’s traditionally made with pork.  These citrus and salty flavours are some of my absolute favourites and they make for the most incredible salsa!  This is my version where I have added in peppers to the format.  Serve with tacos or a mixed green veggie salad for a dinner party! 

A one-tray-bake that is SO delicious!


Serves 4


1 kg of the best chicken thighs you can afford (8 thighs)

1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced

2 red onions, thinly sliced

10 garlic cloves, smashed, skins left on

2 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp dried oregano 

2 tbsp olive oil

For the marinade:

4 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp cinnamon powder

2 tsp habanero chilli paste, this will add that Mexican, smokey kick (I used this one)

1 tbsp anchovy paste or you could chop up for anchovy fillets which would be around 8

Zest and juice of 2 lime

zest and juice of 2 oranges

Sea salt and black pepper

Add all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and whisk together with a fork.  Add the chicken thighs into a large bowl and pour over the marinade.  I add in the leftover lime, orange skins, garlic cloves, cumin seeds, dried oregano and mix everything together.  Leave in the fridge overnight or for a few hours if possible.  The longer you marinate the better, but in truth, I didn’t have time once and it was still incredible.  

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.  Add in the chicken, skin side down with all of the juices.  In the same marinating bowl, add the chopped peppers and red onion slices.  Drizzle over with some olive oil and toss together.  Scatter these about on the chicken tray and place into the middle of the hot oven.  Leave to roast for about 20 minutes and then mix everything around a little and spoon the juices over the chicken.  Return to the oven for another 20 minutes.  At this point the chicken will be done and you can turn it back to skin side up.  I like to put it under the grill for about 5-10 minutes to crisp up the skins.  Serve straight away with all of those yummy juices. Olè!

Nina ParkerComment