Chicken Pibil Tostadas

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Chicken Pibil Tostadas. Simple, delicious, quick, and easy to assemble, you can make an ordinary meal extraordinary with this family-friendly favorite.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of EasyHomeMeals.com, a food and lifestyle blog sponsored by the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA). All opinions are 100% mine.

Because it’s a family favorite, I wanted to share this recipe with you now, during Hispanic Heritage Month, which, of course, is all about family. I’ve found that everyone in the family can get behind tostadas, as they both assemble and customize easily, so each person can make theirs to taste.

You may not have heard of chicken pibil tostadas before now, but I suspect you, like me, enjoy exploring new tastes from around the world. This dish comes from the Yucatan Peninsula, in Mexico, a little bit southeast from where I grew up. I hope you enjoy it. It has been a favorite of my family for generations, and I hope it becomes one of your family’s favorites, too.

Chicken Pibil Tostadas in 5 Easy Steps

Just blend the sauce, pour it over chicken, cook, shred, and serve.

orange juice in a jar, garlic and spices on top of a wooden board

Achiote and Orange Juice

A traditional Mexican sauce, pibil combines achiote paste (a not-too-spicy paste made with annatto seeds), spices, vinegar, and, the defining ingredient, orange juice.

Sweet and savory, with citric brightness, pibil goes beautifully with shredded chicken.

Pibil just isn’t pibil without real orange juice, so I made my regular swing through the dairy aisle to pick up some Tropicana Homestyle (Some Pulp) Orange Juice for this recipe. It’s 100% Orange Juice, never from concentrate, and the dairy aisle has always been known for quality and freshness, which this recipe demands.

Shopping tip: You can find achiote paste in the Hispanic products aisle in the supermarket. If you can’t find the paste, look for ground annatto seed in the Hispanic condiments aisle.

tropicana orange juice bottle on top of a banana leaf

Cooking Methods for Chicken Pibil

You can cook chicken pibil several ways depending on what you have available at home. I prefer pressure cooking, but if you prefer to use your slow cooker or a dutch oven over the stove, they work as well.

Here are the approximate cooking times for each:

  • Dutch oven over the stove: approx 45-50 minutes
  • Regular pressure cooker (over the stove): 12 minutes (after reaching pressure) + 15 minutes to allow for the release of pressure on its own accord.
  • Electric pressure cooker, there are several types on the market: 10 minutes (after reaching pressure) + 17 minutes to release pressure.
  • Slow cooker: 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Please follow your cooker’s instructions for more specific times. This recipe features an electric pressure cooker.

Serving The Tostadas

Do you know why I love tostadas so much? Because I only need to heat the meat and beans, place all the fixings on the table, and let everybody assemble their own, which makes for easy serving and easy clean up for me.

Tostadas are a layering party! Beans, lettuce, meat, onion, avocado and cheese, yum.

For these tostadas, we used the Four Cheese Mexican blend from Borden which is widely available in our area and we like a lot. The blend combines asadero, queso blanco, Monterey Jack and cheddar. Other varieties like queso fresco or Oaxaca work beautifully too. Choose your favorite.

A Note about Banana Leaves

Chicken pibil is traditionally cooked in a pouch of banana leaves. You can find them in your grocery store by the produce department, or in the frozen department, ask for them at your store.

However, if you can’t find them, no worries! You can omit them, just cook the chicken straight in the pot.

Please rinse the banana leaves and let them dry, when they are fresh they can break easily, so treat them with care.

To make them flexible and more resistant to tearing they need to be heated up on top of a comal, griddle, or pan first. You can see how rapidly they change color in the video or photo below.

Chicken Pibil Tostadas

Prep time 15 minutes – Start to finish 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Chicken Pibil

  • 2 lb chicken breast (approx 1 kg), cut in big pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice (approx 355 ml)
  • 5 tablespoons white vinegar (75ml)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste (or 4 tsp grounded achiote)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 banana leaves, rinsed and dried (optional)

For the Pickled Onions

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • 3/4 cup orange juice (177ml)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (59 ml)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar (118ml)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

For Serving

  • 12 tostadas (find these in the Hispanic foods aisle)
  • 2 cups cooked refried beans (473 ml)
  • Cheese to taste
  • 2 avocados

Equipment

  • Electric pressure cooker
  • Blender
  • Comal or griddle or pan for banana leaves

Instructions

Pour orange juice and vinegar in a blender. Add garlic, achiote, oregano, salt, cumin, cloves, and black peppercorns. Blend well. Set aside.

orange juice, garlic and spices in a blender

If you are using banana leaves. Heat a comal, skillet or griddle. Place a cleaned and dried banana leaf on top and see how quickly it changes color from a dull to a bright green.

Keep moving it until the whole surface changes color and then remove. You will notice the leaf is now flexible and more resistant to tearing.

banana leave on top of a comal

Use your preferred pot. For this recipe, I’m using my electric pressure cooker. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pot, place the rack inside, and then the banana leaves. We want to make a kind of pouch to envelop the chicken.

Place the chicken on top of the banana leaf, pour the pibil sauce over the chicken, add bay leaves, then fold the banana leaves over to cover the meat. Place the rest of the banana leaves on top.

pouring pibil marinade on top of chicken

Set the timer to 10 minutes and put the valve on the “sealing” position. It will take approx 10 minutes to reach pressure. Once the cooking time is over, turn off and allow the pressure to come down on its own accord, approx 15-17 minutes.

Please check the settings on your pressure cooker, and consult the user’s manual, as they may vary.

chicken with marinade and bay leaves on top

While the chicken is cooking, make the pickled onions.

Slice the red onion and habanero, put them in a bowl, pour warm water over them to cover and let them rest for 5 minutes. Drain the water.

Important note about habanero peppers: This pepper has a very spicy, fruity, delicious flavor; however, it is one of the hottest peppers in the world. Please make sure to use a plate or non-porous surface to slice it. Please don’t touch your face before washing your hands first. Wash everything, in addition to your hands, immediately after working with them. If you have kitchen gloves, you can use them, too.

Pour orange juice, lemon juice and vinegar over the drained onions and add oregano and salt. Stir until salt is completely dissolved. Cover and set aside.

When the pressure has released, open the pot, remove the banana leaves, and shred the chicken. Next, cook the chicken for another 5 minutes to allow the sauce to coat all the chicken.

For serving: take a tostada, put a layer of refried beans on top, a layer of lettuce, a layer of chicken pibil, top with the cheese, pickled onions, and avocado. That’s it.

More Easy Family Meals

Now, during Hispanic Heritage Month and just weeks from the holiday season, it’s time to start making your list of easy meals to prepare and enjoy with your family during the holidays. I invite you to check out both your freezer and fridge and create something yummy this year.

Be sure to come back and share your creations with us. And don’t forget to tag them with the #mamalatinatips hashtag, so we all can see and share your amazing creations, too.

For even more culinary inspiration and more easy recipes, be sure to check out the delicious ideas at EasyHomeMeals.com and follow the #EasyHomeMeals hashtag on social media.

Enjoy!

chicken pibil tostada with avocado and cheese
4.91 from 10 votes

Chicken Pibil Tostadas

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 12
Calories: 277kcal

Ingredients

For the Chicken Pibil

  • 2 lb chicken breast approx 1 kg, cut in big pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice approx 355 ml
  • 5 tablespoons white vinegar 75ml
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste or 4 tsp grounded achiote
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 banana leaves rinsed and dried (optional)

For the Pickled Onions

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • 3/4 cup orange juice 177ml
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice 59 ml
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar 118ml
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

For Serving

  • 12 tostadas find these in the Hispanic foods aisle
  • 2 cups cooked refried beans 473 ml
  • Cheese to taste
  • 2 avocados

Utensilios

  • Electric pressure cooker
  • * Blender
  • Comal or griddle or pan for banana leaves

Instructions

  • Pour orange juice and vinegar in a blender. Add garlic, achiote, oregano, salt, cumin, cloves, and black peppercorns. Blend well. Set aside.
  • If you are using banana leaves. Heat a comal, skillet or griddle. Place a cleaned and dried banana leaf on top and see how quickly it changes color from a dull to a bright green.
  • Keep moving it until the whole surface changes color and then remove. You will notice the leaf is now flexible and more resistant to tearing.
  • Use your preferred pot. For this recipe, I’m using my electric pressure cooker. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pot, place the rack inside, and then the banana leaves. We want to make a kind of pouch to envelop the chicken.
  • Place the chicken on top of the banana leaf, pour the pibil sauce over the chicken, add bay leaves, then fold the banana leaves over to cover the meat. Place the rest of the banana leaves on top.
  • Set the timer to 10 minutes and put the valve on the “sealing” position. It will take approx 10 minutes to reach pressure. Once the cooking time is over, turn off and allow the pressure to come down on its own accord, approx 15-17 minutes.
  • Please check the settings on your pressure cooker, and consult the user’s manual, as they may vary.
  • While the chicken is cooking, make the pickled onions.
  • Slice the red onion and habanero, put them in a bowl, pour warm water over them to cover and let them rest for 5 minutes. Drain the water.
  • Pour orange juice, lemon juice and vinegar over the drained onions and add oregano and salt. Stir until salt is completely dissolved. Cover and set aside.
  • When the pressure has released, open the pot, remove the banana leaves, and shred the chicken. Next, cook the chicken for another 5 minutes to allow the sauce to coat all the chicken.
  • For serving: take a tostada, put a layer of refried beans on top, a layer of lettuce, a layer of chicken pibil, top with the cheese, pickled onions, and avocado. That’s it.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Pibil Tostadas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 277 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 48mg16%
Sodium 1012mg44%
Potassium 605mg17%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 219IU4%
Vitamin C 33mg40%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Mexican Classics
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken in Instant Pot, chicken in pressure cooker, Mexican tostadas
Author: Silvia

Notes

Important note about habanero peppers: This pepper has a very spicy, fruity, delicious flavor; however, it is one of the hottest peppers in the world. Please make sure to use a plate or non-porous surface to slice it. Please don’t touch your face before washing your hands first. Wash everything, in addition to your hands, immediately after working with them. If you have kitchen gloves, you can use them, too.

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Tin tin

I always see people using banana leaves to cook food in and this really intimidates me. But you make it look so easy. I would love to try this on my blog as well. Revelations of an Amateur Chef 🧑‍🍳. Thank you for sharing.

Cristina Petrini
A deliciously incredible dish, to try even if I'm afraid I won't be able to do it as well!
Melissa

That Mexican sauce sounds fantastic. I love anything with orange juice in it. These are great recipes and I love how simple and easy they seem.

Yasmari Bello

Chicken Pibil Tostadas son de los platos mexicanos favoritos! Esta receta me encanta la voy a preparar para ver si me queda igual que la tuya o la de los restaurantes 😍

Jenny

In my country, Guatemala, we also have tostadas but we never use chicken on them. But this chicken Pibil looks so delicious that I got to try it .

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