Chicken Baked in the Yucatan Style

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We've substituted the more available Swiss chard for the more authentic but hard-to-find banana leaves. Annatto seeds, also called achiote seeds, are used principally for coloring and can be found in Mexican markets; they're optional in this recipe.
8 servings (serving size: 1 chicken roll)


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8 garlic cloves
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons ground annatto seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 cups sliced onion
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
8 large Swiss chard leaves or banana leaves
Cilantro sprigs (optional)


Drop the garlic through food chute with food processor on, and process until minced. Add water and the next 8 ingredients (water through pepper), and process until blended. Combine garlic mixture and chicken in a large zip-top heavy-duty plastic bag, and seal. Marinate in refrigerator 8 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Remove chicken from bag, reserving 1 cup marinade; set both aside.

Heat chicken broth in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Add 1/4 cup reserved marinade and tomatoes; bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. Remove tomato mixture from heat, and set aside.

Drop Swiss chard leaves into a large saucepan of boiling water; cook 30 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain well.

Place 1 chicken breast half in center of each Swiss chard leaf, and top with 1/4 cup of tomato mixture. Fold in the edges of leaves, and roll up; place the chicken rolls in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Pour remaining 3/4 cup of marinade over the chicken rolls. Cover and bake at 350° for 50 minutes; uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve with the remaining tomato mixture. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Created date

May 2004

Nutritional Information

Calories 164
Caloriesfromfat 9 %
Fat 1.7 g
Satfat 0.4 g
Monofat 0.4 g
Polyfat 0.4 g
Protein 27.7 g
Carbohydrate 8.5 g
Fiber 1.2 g
Cholesterol 66 mg
Iron 1.7 mg
Sodium 603 mg
Calcium 52 mg