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Mucbil pollo

Traditionally, Mucbil Pollo consists of oversized, baked tamales that are made with chicken, sometimes stewed pork and black beans, flavored with achiote & spices, wrapped in corn dough (masa) and banana leaves, then roasted in an underground pit. 




  • 4 Cornish hens (butterflied)
  • 2 dry Guajillo chiles
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 spoon of Achiote paste
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 20 g kosher salt
  • 5 banana leaves

Baking Dough (Tamal)

  • 1 kg corn masa
  • 100 g shortening
  • 10 g dry Epazote or 10 gr chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt



  1. In a saucepan, boil two cups of water to hydrate the dry Guajillo chiles. 
  2. In a blender add the hydrated Guajillos chiles, garlic, Axiote paste, tomatoes, salt, and 100 millimeters of water and mix until combined. 
  3. Place the Cornish hens in a bowl and add blended liquid, let marinate for four hours. 

Baking Dough (Tamal)

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together corn masa, shortening, and dry epazote or chopped cilantro until incorporated and leave to rest. 

Mucbil Pollo

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. 
  2. Take the banana leaves and heat them on a gas stove one by one by passing them on top of the fire - this will help make them flexible and easier to work with. 
  3. Cut the leaves into rectangles of 10 centimeters by 20 centimeters. Place three to four leaves on the inside of a one-inch deep cake pan, ensuring there’s no space between leaves.
  4. On top of the leaves, spread approx. 150 grams of the masa in the middle of the cake pan. 
  5. Place the chicken on top of the masa. Close the leaves by folding them in corners one by one to form a hexagon shape. Secure the leaves together by tying butcher swine like a present. Repeat steps two to five until all ingredients are finished (approx. four servings). 
  6. Place a small oven-proof container on the bottom shelf of the oven to create steam. 
  7. Place completed Mucbil Pollos in the oven for 60 minutes. 
  8.  Heat the remaining chicken marinade in a saucepan and bring to a simmer for two minutes. 
  9. Serve sauce in a side bowl. 
  10. Remove Mucbil Pollos from the oven, serve and enjoy! 

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