Achiote Seasoning Paste – Review

Well, I was on a mission, once I posted the Mexican Spice Pastes recipes, to actually try one of them.  So, while checking out a new-to-us Mexican super market.  It was heaven, btw.  I had never eaten freshly made pork rinds before, so I did!  At $7/pound, I ended up buying half a pig’s worth (which only weighed half a pound).  That lasted me over a week, and I ended up having to re-heat it in the oven because it went stale.  The flavor was so much more pork-like and had MUCH less salt.

So, while hubby was selecting tomatillos and chilis I found a one ounce bag of achiote seeds for $1.50!  I will warn you, though.  I also found the paste itself (that you just mix with water) and it had corn flour in it (carbohydrates for no good reason).  I’ve been holding onto this little bag until last night, when I finally decided to make the Achiote Seasoning paste.

I pulled some chicken thighs out of the freezer and made the paste early (anxious just in case I messed something up).  While the paste was waiting for the thighs to thaw, it began to smell more and more like Worcestershire sauce.  All I kept thinking was, “Oh, I hope it isn’t too strong for the chicken!”  Finally, the thighs were ready (I rinsed, then dried them, leaving the bone in)!  I rubbed them down with the paste (I used this on 6 thighs and have enough for some pork AND beef).  I let the thighs sit for about 30 minutes, then they were grilled over mesquite charcoal.  They looked and smelled amazing!

Warning: I’ve already voiced my dislike of cinnamon in savory dishes.  I was hoping allspice would be different.  I was but not by much.  My first bite was of the crispy skin, which was fantastic!  Then, I took my first bite of the flesh.  My first reaction was, “Yuck!”  All I could taste was the allspice but I really think that’s what my brain was focusing on.  After about three bites, it wasn’t as bad my initial reaction.  The only real complaint (now that I ate two thighs) is it wasn’t spicy.  I think this paste would be even better if I lowered the amount of the allspice a little (yes, I’m willing to used allspice a few more times in savory recipes) and added some chili or cayenne powder and used fresh (instead of already minced) garlic.  I have enough paste leftover that I can play with it before I use it on other meats!

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