Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Grilled Achiote-Lime Chicken

August 29, 2014
What are your Labor Day plans? 

I don’t know if I’ve ever had Labor Day plans.

Until this year that is…….this year we are going to……..clean out the garage!!!! Yay! Thrilling, I know.

Clean out the garage and grill and maybe (hopefully) make s’mores. I will more than likely grill chicken as it is my favorite way to eat chicken and I never tire of those little charred pieces even though they will probably give me cancer. This recipe is one of my all time favs. It is made with achiote paste and tons ‘o lime.

Achiote Paste is made from annatto seeds, garlic, and spices and is commonly used in the Yucatán to make dishes like Cochinita Pibil, carnes adobabas y asadas and pollos rostizados (just like the box says). It is a very mild seasoning and is used more to impart a deep red color than a lot of spice or heat. Most of you know annatto seeds as the orange part in what otherwise would be white cheddar. Apparently the father of our friend’s sister-in-law (stay with me) went down to Ecuador thirty years ago and discovered their potent color. He brought it back to Wisconsin and used it to color his cheese and history was made (or so she says, I have no proof to back that story up, other than her family is very deep in cheese money so it could be true).

And now you all have a story to tell at this weekend’s backyard bbq. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Grilled Achiote-Lime Chicken

Yield: 4

Achiote paste can be found in any Latin market and in many Asian markets or you can buy it online.


  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (about 3-4 limes)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (about 7 small limes)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 8 pieces chicken (you can cut up a whole chicken or use 8 thighs, drumsticks, bone-in breasts, whatever you'd like)


  1. Combine lime zest, lime juice, oil, egg, and achiote paste in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Place chicken in a large resealable bag or large bowl and pour marinade over chicken. Toss to coat thoroughly. Seal (or cover) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Heat grill to medium and grill chicken until juices run clear and it is no longer pink in the middle, about 20-30 minutes. You can also roast in a 425°F oven for 30 minutes.


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