Best Easy Pollo en Achiote Recipe

Pollo en Achiote, also known as Achiote Chicken, is a traditional Mexican dish that is bursting with flavor and vibrant colors. This delicious recipe combines the earthy and slightly sweet flavors of achiote paste with succulent chicken, creating a dish that is sure to please your taste buds. The best part? It’s incredibly easy to make!

To make the Best Easy Pollo en Achiote, you will need the following ingredients:

– 2 pounds of chicken (you can use bone-in or boneless, depending on your preference)
– 3 tablespoons of achiote paste
– 2 tablespoons of orange juice
– 2 tablespoons of lime juice
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
– 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Fresh cilantro, for garnish


1. In a bowl, combine the achiote paste, orange juice, lime juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix well to form a marinade.

2. Place the chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure it is well coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for maximum flavor.

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3. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard any excess.

4. Grill the chicken for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces.

5. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with your favorite side dishes, such as rice, beans, or tortillas.

Now, let’s move on to some frequently asked questions about Pollo en Achiote:

1. What is achiote paste?
Achiote paste is a traditional Mexican ingredient made from annatto seeds, spices, and vinegar. It has a rich red color and a unique flavor.

2. Where can I find achiote paste?
Achiote paste can be found in Latin American grocery stores or online.

3. Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?
Yes, you can use chicken breast if you prefer. Just be mindful of the cooking time as chicken breast tends to cook faster.

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4. Can I bake the chicken instead of grilling it?
Yes, you can bake the chicken in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for about 25-30 minutes, or until it reaches the desired internal temperature.

5. Can I freeze the marinated chicken?
Yes, you can freeze the marinated chicken for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before grilling or baking.

6. Can I use the marinade as a sauce?
The marinade can be used as a sauce, but make sure to cook it thoroughly before serving as it has come into contact with raw chicken.

7. Can I use achiote powder instead of achiote paste?
Yes, you can use achiote powder, but you may need to adjust the amount as it is more concentrated than the paste.

8. Can I substitute orange juice with something else?
If you don’t have orange juice, you can use pineapple juice or lime juice instead.

9. Is Pollo en Achiote spicy?
Pollo en Achiote is not traditionally spicy, but you can add some heat by adding chili powder or chopped jalapeños to the marinade.

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10. Can I marinate the chicken for longer than overnight?
Marinating the chicken for longer than overnight can result in a stronger flavor. However, be mindful that the acid in the marinade can start to break down the texture of the chicken if marinated for too long.

11. Can I use this marinade for other meats?
Absolutely! This marinade works well with pork, beef, or even fish. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Pollo en Achiote is a delicious and easy dish that brings the flavors of Mexico right to your kitchen. With its vibrant colors and mouthwatering taste, it’s a recipe that is sure to impress your family and friends. So go ahead and give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!

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