This Chicken Achiote is made with drumsticks, achiote paste, orange juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
This is one of my grandmas favorite recipes. The key ingredient? Achiote Sauce. Since this chicken has bones, its always best to leave it cooking for a while on low heat as the bone produces the best flavor.
Whole, bone-in chicken takes longer to cook than boneless pieces, no matter the method. This is because of the way that heat radiates throughout the meat. In a boneless, skinless breast, there is no skin to retain moisture and no bones to conduct heat, so it cooks faster but can dry out.
Why you will love this recipe
Full of flavor: Chicken Achiote has a peppery aroma and a subtle flavor that's been described as nutty, sweet, and earthy.
Perfect for all weather: This recipe is great for any weather. I love to eat this in the summer and winter months.
Serves a crowd: This recipe is easy to duplicate.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Chicken drumsticks
- Achiote paste
- Orange juice
- Olive oil
See recipe card for quantities.
Add olive oil in medium heat in a large deep pan with a cover and start by browning the chicken. Brown the chicken 5 minutes per side and keep switching as the chicken browns all over. Add about ½ cup of broth in the pan, switch heat to medium low, and cover for about 1 hour.
Mix the achiote and orange juice in a blender and blend until smooth. After an hour, add the achiote sauce into the pan and Let the paste blend with the chicken juice and stir. Cover for another 30 minutes on low heat.
Hint: Keep at a low heat when you add the achiote in with the chicken.
- Chicken: I used chicken drumsticks for this although you could use bone-in chicken thighs.
- Achiote Paste: You can buy achiote paste at your local Mexican grocery store, although they sell them at the ethnic section of most grocery stores. You can also buy them on amazon.
- Orange Juice: For best flavor, use freshly squeezed orange juice, although store bought orange juice can work too.
Cooking is a chance to be creative! Have fun with it and feel free to make your own variation.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes while cooking to imbue heat into the dish, or banana peppers
- Deluxe - add guacamole, crispy onions or
- Kid friendly - add crushed potato chips (ketchup chips!)
Check out this Chicken Mole.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
I love using my Caraway pots, pans and baking sheets for best quality.
This will be good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Keep heat low when you add the achiote sauce to the chicken.Print
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove