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|Mexican Cooking (alt.food.mexican-cooking) A newsgroup created for the discussion and sharing of mexican food and recipes.|
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Pollo Pibil Estilo Quintana Roo
Pollo Pibil (Chicken Steamed With Fruit Juice) Recipe
Where the heck is Quintana Roo? Well, everybody's heard of Cancun. It's
the place that tourists go.
Quintana Roo was the last state admitted to the Mexican Union. In my
old Hammond Atlas, Quintana Roo was still a territory as late as 1967.
Before then, Europeans only entered the jungle at risk of their lives.
The Mayans were more than a little unhappy with their criollo masters
who had enslaved them. They rebelled against the harsh treatment.
There's a big mural in the government palace in Merida, Yucatan,
showing the mistreatment. It shows an Indian's hands, scarred by
harvesting sharp-edged crops barehanded. I remember that from my 1986
The Mayan Indians still live on the jungle, in traditional brush huts
that look just like the god houses on top of the ruined pyramids. I
bought a clay jaguar pot from an artisan who lived in a brush hut. When
I got home and looked in the bottom, there was writing that indicated
it had been mass-produced in a factory in one of the local Mexican
In preparing Pollo Pibil in the traditional style, the chicken is
wrapped in banana leaves and steamed in a special pit called a pib. So,
the first thing to do before marinating chicken is to go out into the
jungle and look for steep mounds with trees growing out of them.
If you like birds, the jungle is full of parrots and conures flying
from tree to tree.
The mounds aren't actually hills, Quintana Roo is as flat as a pancake,
with some dried up streams and the mounds are all ruined Mayan
pyramids. They are everywhere. The filler for the pyramids is all the
smooth, round river rocks. Get the round hard stones and leave the
limestone for the people who make lime out of it.
Then, back home, build a fire to heat the rocks and dig a hole and fill
it with hot rocks. Wrap the marinated chicken in a banana leaf and
lower it into the hole. Pour water into the hole, being wary of flying
pieces of exploding rocks and cover the hole with branches and brush
and more banana leaves and finally cover the banana leaves with dirt to
seal in the steam for about two hours to cook the chicken.
No? Try this way.
2/3 cup orange juice, fresh
1/3 cup lemon juice, fresh
1 tbsp annatto (achiote) seeds ground in a blender or pulverized with a
mortar and pestle
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) cut into 6 to 8 serving pieces
12 large flour tortillas, hot, (hand or ready made)
In a small bowl, combine the orange and lemon juice, ground annatto
seeds, garlic, oregano, cumin, clove, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
Place chicken in a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the
pieces snugly in one layer and pour the seasoned fruit juice over it.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and marinate the chicken for 6 hours
at room temperature, or 12 hours or overnight in the refrigerator,
turning the pieces over in the marinade from time to time.
Line a large colander with 2 crossed, overlapping sheets of
aluminum foil and arrange the chicken on it. Pour in the marinade,
then bring the ends of the foil up over the chicken and twist them
together to seal in the chicken and its marinade securely.
Place the colander in a deep pot, about 1 inch larger in diameter
than the colander, and pour enough water into the pot to come to
within an inch of the bottom of the colander. Bring the water to a
vigorous boil over high heat, cover the pot securely and reduce the
heat to low. Steam for 1 3/4 hours, or until the chicken is tender,
checking the pot from time to time and adding more boiling water if
To serve, remove the package of chicken from the colander, open it,
and transfer the chicken and all of its sauce to a heated bowl or
platter. Accompany it with large flour tortillas, kept warm in a
basket, so your guests can
make b*rr*t*s, if they like.
Supply forks and other utensils for your more "cultured" guests. ;-)
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