The colorful traditions that celebrate death in Mexico are one of the emblems that represent us in the world, the colors, the ritual of smells and flavors, and everything that surrounds this cult of death, surprises friends and strangers, and remains almost intact through the years in our idiosyncrasy and our way of facing life.
Every corner of Mexico has different versions of this tradition and in each state there are details that make unique the ceremony of invoking the dead to celebrate them every November 2.
In every corner.
One of these variants can be found in gastronomy. Incredibly diverse, the cuisine of Mexico changes greatly from north to south. and expresses itself in an extraordinary way in this kind of folklore. Here, in the southeastern part of our country, this expression is called Mukbil Pollo (or pibi pollo in Campeche), a kind of tamale made with corn, chicken and pork that, besides being a real delicacy, always accompanies the Day of the Dead celebrations in Campeche. the Yucatan Peninsula.
A tradition of our land.
Elsie According to the locals, the tradition is to start preparing this dish on October 31, when the ingredients are bought and the stuffing is prepared in the kitchen while drinking a beer outside, already on November 2, to eat it with the rest of the family, which is one of the most deeply rooted traditions on this side of Mexico, as confirmed by the independent sommelier Georgina Estrada in an interview with Elsie Méndez:
“My grandmother used to tell us that we could miss Christmas but never the Mukbil chicken meal, that’s how every year we have to do it because of a promise we made to grandma, and well, somewhat for the taste and pleasure of continuing to do it but mostly to eat it!”
From Cancun to your table.
At Oasis we celebrate this Yucatecan tradition, and we want you to get to know this Mexican delicacy, that’s why today, we bring you the recipe for this magnificent dish that not only showcases the traditions of the Mayan people and their feast day the Hanál Pixan (Day of the Dead Celebration), but also the subsequent meeting of two worlds, since ingredients such as chicken and pork were definitely brought to America by the Spanish conquistadors. So, this dish that resembles a tamale, but is more of a “pie” of corn and meats, is definitely an expression of what it means to be Mexican today and the way in which in this corner of the world, we celebrate life and death.
Mukbil chicken, the recipe.
– 225 grams of pork fat, cut in small cubes
Preparation: Heat the fat over medium heat, or in the oven, until the lard softens. Turn the pieces from time to time so that they do not burn, and are evenly browned and crispy.
– A whole chicken of 1,500 kg
– 200 grs of chicken giblets
– 225 grs of pork loin meat
– 4 roasted garlic cloves
– 1 ½ teaspoons salt
– Water to cover ingredients
Preparation: Cut the chicken into pieces and serve the pork in 2.5 cm squares. Put them in the pan with the other ingredients, barely covered with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender – chicken should be about 35 minutes, pork a little longer. Remove the meat, reserving the broth. Remove the bones from the chicken. Set the meat aside.
– 1 ½ cups reserved beef broth
– 2 tablespoons tortilla dough
Preparation. Stir the batter little by little into the broth. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and stir the mixture until it thickens slightly. Set the thickened broth aside.
• ¼ teaspoon pepper
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon axiote
• 1 tablespoon mild white vinegar
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled
• In a blender grind all the seasonings until a smooth sauce is created and set aside.
• 3 tablespoons rendered pork fat
• 1/3 medium onion, finely chopped
• 1 Chile habanero entero (muy picante)
• 1 ramita de epazote
• 1 jitomate grande
• Las carnes pre cocidas
In a skillet melt the pork fat and fry the chopped onion, the habanero chile and the epazote sprig, without browning, just until soft. Add the previously ground seasonings and continue cooking the mixture for about 3 minutes. Add the tomato and cooked meat to the ingredients in the skillet and continue cooking the mixture for 10 minutes over medium heat. Set aside.
Baking pan assembly
• A 20.5 x 20.5 x 5 cm metal baking pan
• Baking cord approximately 70 cm
• Large pieces of banana leaves
Place two pieces of rope parallel along the length of the pan and the other 2 pieces across the width of the pan. Tate the banana leaves over a flame to make them more pliable, cover the bottom of the pan with them, smooth and shiny side facing up. Set the bowl aside while the dough is being prepared. Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.
• 1 kg of prepared tortilla dough
• 2 teaspoons salt
• ¼ teaspoon axiote
• Grease castings
Mix the dough with the salt, axiote and fat until everything is very well integrated.
• The prepared mold
• The dough
• The filling
• Thickened broth
• A piece of banana leaf approximately 27 x 27 cm (11 x 11 in.)
• The rest of the dough
Press about two-thirds of the dough into the prepared pan to form a crust about 60 cm thick on the bottom and sides of the pan.
Place the filling in the lined mold and pour the thickened broth over it. With the smooth, shiny side of the sheet facing up, press the remaining dough onto it about 60 cm thick. This will be the lid of the saucer.
Carefully turn the sheet head down so that the batter completely covers the pan, with enough of an overlap to seal together with the batter around the sides of the pan.
Fold the leaves over the top of the cake and tie securely with the string. Bake the Chicken Muk-bil for two hours. and serve immediately.