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Charlie's pollo pibil

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I make this several times a year at the farm for me, my dad, and my boys, but my bride hasn't ever had it. So, I whipped up a batch this morning. The flavor from the citrus and the achiote paste really makes for some good eating.

This is NOT how it's traditionally made, and I know the smoke really won't hit much of the chicken, but it keeps me from heating up the kitchen. I'm in Texas, it's 90 degrees outside.... I'm also smoking some cheap steaks slathered in the achiote sauce. I plan to wrap them in foil later so they shred. But, I'll make a different post for that, they'll be used in some enchiladas later this week.

1-big chicken whole (can use pieces if you want) mine is 7 pounds and from our farm in Mineola, TX. All of our chickens are raised to be layers, but some get selected for the table as well.
Juice from 2 limes
Juice from 2 Small lemons (I used Meyer lemons, they look orange, but regular will work)
Juice from 2 oranges
1-medium white onion cut into quarters
1-handful of cilantro, stems and leaves (I use about half a bunch)
1-Tbs smoked salt
1-Tbs Mexican oregano
1.5-tsp fresh ground black pepper
6-cloves of garlic peeled
1-large poblano pepper seeded and stem removed (can use jalapeño if desired)
1-cake of achiote paste
Banana leaves to wrap
Butchers twine to tie off

Put everything but the chicken, leaves and twine into the blender. Blend until it is a purée.

In an aluminum pan, lay down pieces of string long enough to tie off the bird and leaves.

Layer banana leaves into pan in a fashion where you can wrap the bird without splitting the leaves too much. Some will split, it's all good.

Place the bird on the leaves, and then slather the bird with the purée. Make sure to pour some of the purée into the bird's cavity ( not required if using pieces or quarters).

Wrap the leaves around the bird loosely, then tie off. This can be tricky at first. Lay your leaves to where they want to naturally fold. Trim the string ends, and then place into the frig for a minimum of 2 hours.

After sitting in the frig for at least 2 hours, put the wrapped bird, still in the pan, into a preheated 250 degree smoker.

Now, leave it alone until the breast hits around 165. Then, remove from the smoker, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. With it wrapped in the banana leaves, it'll continue to steam a bit.

After resting, open the leaves up, and get ready for some great chicken! This will be pretty much a fall off the bone situation. Corn tortillas and a fork will be needed.

More later when it's ready to plate up!
post #2 of 9
Looks like it will be a great bird! I'll be hanging around for the grand finale!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Oops, I hope you read all the way before doing all of the above.... Try and place your meat probe into the breast before you wrap the bird. If not, you'll be guessing at the location later and get really mad at me for not mentioning this earlier. I just had to guess... icon_cry.gif
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post

Looks like it will be a great bird! I'll be hanging around for the grand finale!

Thus far, all have loved it, but I'm making this tonight, for the bride.... Time will tell, she is a bit picky!

However, what she does not eat, I shall devour!
post #4 of 9
I am watching. Bet she will love it.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Sorry, no good QView tonight!


Flavor is decent, but this bird is the toughest I've ever had in my life! The skin is thicker than I've ever seen. Almost zero penetration of flavor.

I had it in the smoker for almost 7 hours and hit 170 in the breast. Let it rest for about 40 minutes, and then opened it up. As soon as I opened the leaves, I knew something was wrong. It didn't look right at all. It's usually got a slight pink color from the achiote and the skin is normally split in a couple of places.

When I touched the legs with a knife tip, the meat and skin pulled back quite a bit. The breast is moist, as is the dark meat, but it's like it's glued to the bone!

This thing looks like a bloated catfish in a stagnant pond...

I checked the temp with another known good therm, and the temp was spot on... First bad chicken I've made in YEARS!

I'll do a repeat in the near future.

I need to call dad and make sure he didn't give me a cleaned guinea hen!
post #6 of 9

Great looking bird and technique, CB. Points.



post #7 of 9

I need to call dad and make sure he didn't give me a cleaned guinea hen!

I bet so, Cranky Buzzard senior got one up on ya LOL 


Dang it, sorry it never came out. 



post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by driedstick View Post

I bet so, Cranky Buzzard senior got one up on ya LOL 


Dang it, sorry it never came out. 



I'm going to boil the $#!t out of it tonight if for nothing more than STOCK!  :devil:

post #9 of 9

cb thats a great looking bird, something different, i like it.:points:


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