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Three Great Mexican Recipes For Celebrating Christmas

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One of the best parts about Christmas is sharing delicious recipes with friends and family. Keep reading to see how you can plan an amazing Christmas “fiesta” with three great Mexican recipes. Also, enter using the form below this image for a chance to win great prizes including a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, an Instant Pressurized Pot, and more.

Pollo Al Horno, Ensalada de Manzanas, y Ponche de Frutas 1

Mexican Style Oven Roasted Chicken
This post has three great Mexican recipes that are perfect for Christmas - Mexican-style oven roasted chicken, Apple Salad, and Mexican-Style Fruit Punch. Check them all out here!

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When I moved to the United States 6 years ago, I knew that there were going to be a lot of cultural differences. One of the biggest was when Christmas rolled around. In Mexico Christmas Eve is celebrated more prominently than Christmas day, and the traditions are quite a bit different. I always loved sharing delicious food with my family in Mexico including “Pollo Horneado” (Oven roasted chicken), “Ponche de Frutas” (fruit punch), and “Ensalada de Manzana” (apple salad). These three recipes are some of my favorites and I definitely missed them the first year I was here!

That said, I have really grown to love all of the fun Christmas traditions that we share here in the United States. It is so fun to see the joy in our kids’ faces when they open their presents, when we go to look at Christmas lights, when they sit on Santa’s lap, and when they get together with their cousins. I have also grown to like the food that is so common around here this time of year. Even still, I always try to teach my kids about their Mexican heritage and that includes showing them how we celebrate Christmas in Mexico. I also like showing my extended family some of the recipes we make. That is why I planned a dinner at our house to invite everyone to show them how we do a Christmas feast in Mexico!

The key to having a delicious Mexican-style Christmas celebration is to have amazing food, and festive decorations. You will almost always find a pinata at these “fiestas” as well as other decorations like colorful banners, place-mats, and more! Check out the images below for some “tablescape” ideas that you can use if you want to try out something different this year.

Ponche de Frutas 1

Ensalada de Manzanas 1

Pollo Al Horno (Mexican-Style Oven Roasted Chicken)

Pollo al horno 3 mexican

 

In order to ensure that the party is really a hit, you have to have real, authentic Mexican dishes. The first recipe that I want to share with all of you is one of my favorites – “Pollo al Horno.” Now this is not just any oven roasted chicken recipe. This recipe is different than anything you have probably ever tried! My abuelita always used to make this in Mexico with turkey, but sometimes for Christmas and other special occasions we made it with chicken instead because it was more affordable and just as delicious.

In order to make it, you are going to want to make sure that you have Knorr® Tomato with Chicken Granulated Bouillon – 2.2 lbs and La Morena® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, because you will need to use both of them. Both the Knorr® and La Morena® brands bring back so many memories from growing up in Mexico, because they are used in so many classic Mexican recipes – like these. They are such great quality and I know that I can always count on them adding great flavor to all of my favorite meals. You can find both in the Hispanic aisle at Walmart.

Hispanic Aisle Walmart

Knorr and La Morena

To make this Mexican version of oven roasted chicken, you will first season the chicken with a spice mix before covering it in a sauce made with 1/2 stick of butter, 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons of mustard. You will then need to cover it in plastic and let it marinate overnight.

Pollo al Horno Process 1

The next day, you will make a flavorful filling made with ground beef, potatoes, carrots, and raisins (optional).

Pollo Al Horno Process 2

Finally, you will add a delicious and spicy adobo sauce over the top that is made with guajillo chilies, ancho chilies, La Morena® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, and Knorr® Tomato with Chicken Granulated Bouillon before baking for about an hour and a half at 400 degrees. See recipe at the end of this post for exact quantities.

Pollo Al Horno Process 3

Pollo Al Horno

This chicken is so tender and flavorful that you will have people begging for more! One of my favorite parts about this recipe is to make delicious quesadillas and sandwiches with the leftovers – you have to try it!

Ponche de Fruta (Mexican Fruit Punch)

Ponche De Frutas 1 Mexican

 

The next recipe that I want to share is for a classic Mexican drink that is very common at Christmas – “Ponche de Fruta” or Fruit Punch. This is not like the fruit punch that you buy at the store with artificial flavors and colors – this is a made from scratch, flavorful drink that tastes kind of like apple cider.

To make this, you will start by boiling 2 liters of water together with 1 piloncillo (look for it in the Hispanic aisle), 2 cinnamon sticks, and 1/2 cup of fresh jamaica leaves for about 20 minutes.

Ponche de Frutas 2

Next, you will add the following fruit to the pot – 2 chopped apples, 10-15 prunes, 1/2 cup of raisins, 6 peeled and chopped guavas, tecojote (Hawthorne apples – I couldn’t find these :(, but if you have Mexican markets near you, you may be able to), and pure sugar cane (I couldn’t find this either). After adding these ingredients, let it all cook together on low for about 40 minutes before serving hot. Even if you can’t find all of the ingredients, this is still amazing!

Ensalada de Manzana (Mexican-Style Apple Salad)

Ensalada de Manzana 1 Mexican

 

The final recipe that I want to share today is for this delicious Mexican-Style Apple Salad. To make it, you will start by adding 4 green apples, chopped into small pieces, 1/2 cup of raisins, 1/2 cup of chopped pecans, and 1 can of peaches in syrup (chopped) in a large bowl.

Next, add 3/4 cups of heavy cream, and 3/4 can of sweetened condensed milk (or less if you want it to be less sweet), and stir everything together. Finally, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before eating it.

Ensalada de Manzanas 2

After you have all of these recipes ready, it is time to prepare your table as shown above. You can find lots of these types of decorations at your local party store. The important thing is to make sure that you have great food and fun decorations. For my tablescape, I was sure to include some more American decorations like pine boughs and candles, and I think it turned out really good!

I can’t wait to have my family over to try these amazing recipes and to share a little bit more about how Christmas is celebrated in Mexico.

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Pollo al horno 3 mexican
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4.5 from 2 votes

Mexican Style Oven Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Chicken

For the Rub

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oregano

For the marinade

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard

For the Stuffing

  • 1/4 pound of ground beef
  • 1 potato cleaned and diced
  • 2 carrots cleaned, peeled, and cut into small pieces
  • 1 handful of raisins optional

For the Adobo Sauce

  • 5 guajillo chilies boiled, peeled, and deseeded
  • 1 ancho chilie boiled, peeled, and deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon of Knorr® Tomato with Chicken Granulated Bouillon - 2.2 lbs
  • 1-3 peppers from a can of La Morena® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo
  • 1/2 cup of cola

Instructions

  • Start by combining the spice mixture and then use it to cover the whole chicken.
  • Combine the stick of butter (cut into small pieces) with the mayonnaise and the mustard and then cover the entire chicken. Cover in plastic and let marinate all night.
  • Make the filling by cooking the ground beef and then adding the rest of the ingredients. Put inside the chicken.
  • Combine all of the ingredients for the Adobo sauce in a blender and blend until everything is combined and broken down. Pour over the chicken.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 1.5 hours.
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Recipe Rating




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Felicia Garza

Thursday 23rd of December 2021

For the spice mix or rub do we just put the onion cloves garlic and bay leafs in the bottom of the pan how would we rub these in the chicken?

Glennice Fryson

Friday 16th of December 2016

I am going to try these, but now, cannot wait for Christmas. My one question is; Are there any Mexicans who do not love 'Hot, Hot' food? I cannot handle hot, or even mildly hot food. I get a horrible headache. So what does one do when the recipe requires all of the amazing hot spicy ingredients?

Charbel Barker

Friday 16th of December 2016

Hi Glennice! Thank you for your comment. Fortunately two of these recipes aren't spicy at all, so those ones should be okay :). For the Chicken recipe though, I would definitely omit the Chipotle and maybe just use a mild tomato sauce instead and add some seasonings. It is a little bit more difficult to get around the guajillo and ancho chilies, which are relatively mild, but still might be a bit spicy for you. You could try to omit them all together and just use a tomato type sauce. You might try to use roasted red peppers instead as well, as those are pretty mild. This chicken is really tasty, but it can definitely have a bit of spice, so just replacing some of the spicy ingredients with mild peppers like bell peppers may help. Hope that everything turns out great!

Virginia Scott

Thursday 15th of December 2016

Would love to get good recipes I can use.

Adriana Martin

Wednesday 7th of December 2016

Very nice party and a yummy menu, there is no doubt that embracing our traditions is the best ~ client

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