Oven Roasted Chicken with Achiote

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Shortly after I met my boyfriend, he decided to cook dinner for my roommate and I, which although extremely sweet, turned out in a pink chicken disaster. Literally, he somehow made a bright pink chicken with matching pink potatoes, not quite sure where he went wrong. He was trying to make a Mexican recipe for roasted chicken with achiote, which is a yummy dark red Mayan seasoning paste made of ground annatto seeds, herbs, spices. It isn’t spicy like most Mexican food, but instead has a deep, delicious earthy flavor and can be found in the Latin section of most grocery stores. Four years later, after finally overcoming the pink chicken disaster of 2006, I decided to try this out again and was really pleased with the results the flavor is unique and really delicious. I will definitely be adding achiote to the spice rotation in my house. I also highly recommend serving it with pickled red onions, which really enhances the flavor.
The Recipe
Oven Roasted Chicken with Achiote

Oven Roasted Chicken with Achiote

PREP TIME: 1 Hours
COOK TIME: 1 Hours, 15 Min
TOTAL TIME: 2 Hours, 15 Min
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  • 3 lb whole chicken
  • 4 tbsp. achiote paste
  • 1 U orange
  • 4 U garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 U medium potatoes, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 U onion, cut into small pieces

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In a food processor or blender, combine the achiote paste, orange juice, vinegar, and garlic and blend until smooth. Season chicken inside and out with the achiote marinade, including under the skin. Place the orange rind and two garlic cloves in the cavity. Let marinate in the fridge for at least one hour, preferably over night.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray the bottom of a roasting pan with non stick cooking spray and then fill the bottom of the pan with the potatoes and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock to the roasting pan.


Place the marinated chicken on top of the potatoes and onions and pour remaining marinade over the potatoes.


Cover the chicken with tin foil and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the tin foil and allow the chicken to cook for an additional 20-30 minutes until the skin is crispy and their is an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve with a simple salad or other green and picked red onions.

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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: varies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 452
Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g
Saturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 128mg
Sodium 167mg
Total Carbohydrate 19g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 3g
Protein 34g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.


The leftover chicken makes delicious tacos for lunch or dinner the next day. Calories and fat vary significantly by piece and if you remove skin and fat.
† SmartPoints™ and PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
1 Comment
On Oven Roasted Chicken with Achiote
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September 28, 2018 - 18:31
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Sorry about this being a long comment. But, this was really good! First, I used this recipe https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/70629/achiote-paste/ to make my paste though altered slightly using meyer lemon instead of an orange which is probably closer to how this is actually made in the Yucatan. The other change was we had a bunch of different peppers (poblano, banana, bell) from someones garden to use. So we roasted those in the oven, skinned and seeded them and added them into the pot. I added a tablespoon of avocado oil to the remaining sauce that was added back right before cooking. I cooked this in a La Creuset oval dutch oven putting the top on for the first 30 and top off the last 30. Since the liquid was disappearing very fast after removing the lid, I ended up adding back around 1.5 cups of water. The result was amazingly good! The sauce was very good.
The vegetables went so well with the chicken and sauce. Thanks!
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