Mixiotes are wonderful to eat and if you enjoy traditional Mexican foods you will love them. The word “mixiote” refers both to a meat stew and to the wrapping used to contain each stew. This wrapping is made from the outer layer of a maguey leaf.
If you cannot buy these leaves from a Latin food store you can use “papel para mixiotes” which are plastic baggies. If you use those to steam your bundles, wrap each one in foil before you steam them.
Making these mouthwatering treats is easier than it sounds. They taste so good that you will want to make a lot. They freeze well too. You can use beef, lamb, or chicken for them.
The following recipe calls for mixiote leaves but you can use plastic baggies and aluminum foil for the same results. You will also need avocado leaves and you can get these wherever you buy your fresh chili peppers. These delicious little bundles make a fantastic dinner and because this is one of the most authentic Mexican food recipes it is also nice to serve at a dinner party. These little treats will certainly be a conversation starter.
What You Need:
- 12 mixiote halves or 12 plastic baggies and 12 foil squares
- 12 halved chicken breasts or 12 chicken thighs
- 4 finely chopped cloves garlic
- 2 oz achiote paste
- 1 cup bitter orange juice or 3/4 cup regular orange juice with 1/4 cup vinegar
- 6 stemmed, de-seeded guajillo chilies
- 6 stemmed, de-seeded ancho chilies
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 roasted, peeled, chopped tomato
- 6 sliced carrots
- 12 new potatoes in 1 inch cubes
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 12 dried avocado leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme, and marjoram
How To Make Them:
Salt and pepper the chicken and prick the pieces with a fork in several places. Puree the orange juice with the garlic, spices and achiote paste and transfer the mixture into a bowl.
Put the chicken pieces in this marinade. Put the chilies in a pot with the water and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer them for twenty minutes, covered. Puree them in a blender with the tomato, onion, and salt. Strain them into the pan and simmer the mixture for ten minutes.
Soak the mixiotes for ten minutes or until they are pliable, then put an avocado leaf in each one, as well as a piece of marinated chicken, some potatoes, and carrots and some sauce. Tie the packages with string. If you are using plastic baggies, wrap each one in aluminum foil and seal them well.
Fill a pot with water and put the mixiotes on a rack or tamale steamer. Cover the pot and steam the bundles for an hour and a half or two hours. Chicken thighs take longer than chicken breasts. Remove the aluminum foil and put each mixiote in a bowl. Each person unwraps their own and lets the liquid flow into their bowl with the meat. Serve tortillas and sliced avocado on the side.