Fire Hearth
Belizean Relleno

Relleno is a traditional dish in Belize and is a favorite among Maya-Mestizo Belizeans. It is related to the Chimole, but is a completely different dish. It is usually prepared and served on special holidays, such as New Years day, and special occasions like birthdays, graduations, quinceanos, and baptism. However, for many in Belize, it is a traditional New Years dinner.

Relleno and Chimole derive their distinctive black color from the paste-like seasoning used in its preparation.  This Relleno is cooked with special spices, onions, peppers, chicken, and ground pork or beef into a soupy consistency.  It is then eaten with homemade corn tortillas. Relleno is usually served in restaurants daily, or on special menu days.

Although it’s is a bit time-consuming to prepare, it’s worth the wait.  Your mouth will be exploding with the tasty and spicy flavors, and as you will see, its pretty impressive looking too. Just take a look at the pictures below and you’ll see what I mean.

Wishing you a Heartfelt, Healthy, and Tasty food-filled 2011!!


2 whole chicken
6 chicken consomme
8 beef consomme
1 pk black pepper
1 pk garlic ( 3 heads garlic)
2 pounds onion
1 lb sweet pepper
4 lbs ground beef or pork
2 1/2 trays eggs ( 75 eggs)
5 lbs corn tortilla
6 packets black recado
Boil one dozen eggs
Dice garlic, onion, sweet peppers and tomatoes.
Add ¾ of this mixture to ground meat, adding black pepper and beef consommé. Mix well!
Mix in 4 balls of black recado one at a time
Break the remaining eggs in a bowl and lightly separate the yolks
Add eggs to ground meat mixture and stir continuing to break the yolks. Mix well!
This cooked mixture of ground meat, eggs and seasoning is called the Relleno or filling. It’s also called picadillo and is used as a filling in tacos.

The cleaned chicken is prepared for the relleno by sewing closed the opening at the neck and set aside.
Half of the boiled eggs’ yolk are removed and the white chopped finely, the other half of the eggs are sliced.
The finely chopped eggs white is added to hot relleno mixture and mixed well.

The chicken is then stuffed starting with the yolks and sliced eggs followed by the relleno and sown shut.
The remaining is packed into a bag made especially for this purpose or some other such device.

Now, time for the Chimole.
The remaining garlic, onion, tomato and pepper mixture along with the two remaining balls of black recado are blended together adding water.
This blended mixture is strained and then the liquid part is added to a large pot with oil.
To this is added the chicken and the relleno and allowed to cook until done approximately 45 minutes
Meal is served with hot corn tortillas usually hand made at the same time.

Prepared by Becky's Kitchen by Yuri Herrera and Mrs Laura Herrera.