Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Spicy Cilantro Sauce

I have a lot of kitchen gadgets- a LOT- but until recently, I didn’t have a good pair of kitchen shears. I was thrilled to be able to halve this chicken with my new shears. Just like all of the chefs on television. 😉

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used ancho chile powder instead of pasilla chile powder, used dried aji amarillo powder instead of paste, increased the amount of garlic in the marinade, and lowered the roasting temperature.

I incorporated my CSA cilantro into the incredible creamy green sauce. I served the chicken on a bed of sautéed CSA leeks and greens (collard and turnip) with roasted CSA potatoes on the side. It was a celebration of my vegetable share. 🙂 Spectacular.

Yield: 4 servings

For the Chicken:

  • 10 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste or another chile paste such as sriracha or sambal
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (from 1/2 of a lime)
  • 1 teaspoon aji panca paste or 1 teaspoon pasilla or ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound) chicken, halved (see Note) or 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
  • extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3 to 4 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup/1 ounce crumbled feta cheese (I used sheep’s milk feta)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or basil
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon aji amarillo or other chile paste (I used aji amarillo powder)
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • lime wedges, for garnish
  1. For the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, soy sauce, aji amarillo paste, lime juice, aji panca paste, mustard, cumin, pepper and salt.
  2. Add chicken halves, turning to coat them all over with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours. (I marinated the chicken for 10 hours.)
  3. Heat the oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange skin-side up on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil.
  4. Roast until skin is golden and chicken is cooked through, tenting with foil after 30 minutes, for 35 to 45 minutes (if using chicken parts, remove the breasts after 25 to 35 minutes), or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees. Remove from oven and let sit, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes before serving.
  5. While chicken is roasting, make the sauce. In a blender, blend cilantro, jalapeños, feta, garlic, lime juice, oregano, salt, mustard, aji amarillo paste, honey, and cumin until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt or lime juice or both.
  6. Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce and lime wedges on the side.

Note: To cut a chicken in half, use a sturdy pair of poultry shears to cut lengthwise through the breastbone. Turn over and cut again, along the backbone. If desired, cut along the other side of the backbone and remove it.

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Mr. BrookCook’s Mother’s Day Dinner: Aji de Gallina

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On Mother’s Day, I was showered with flowers, poems, handmade jewelry, and love. 🙂 The weather was gorgeous and we were able to spend a wonderful day outside together as a family. My kids were so well behaved! It was PERFECT.

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We were also able to enjoy our first outside dinner of the season. Mango Margarita‘s and Aji de Gallina- both meticulously prepared by my husband… Mr. BrookCook! 🙂 (I had to copy the “Mr.” from The Seasoned Traveler after seeing that Mr. Seasoned Traveler did a Mother’s Day post- the best title ever!) One of my absolute favorite dishes is Peruvian Aji de Gallina. It is a creamy and spicy chicken stew with many layers of flavor. The key ingredient is Aji Amarillo, which we were able to order through Amazon. Last year, this dish was my birthday dinner request… this year I didn’t want to wait until June! This recipe was adapted from PiscoTrail.com, via Foodista. Instead of poaching a chicken, my husband used rotisserie chicken meat. The stew was served over boiled potato slices and garnished with hard boiled egg slices. FABULOUS!! Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all of the mothers and grandmothers out there. 🙂 & Happy Fiesta Friday #16 at The Novice Gardener!

Yield: 8 servings

  • 1 rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken leg, shredded
  • 2 rotisserie chicken thighs, shredded
  • 4 1/2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 slices of bread, crusts removed
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 teaspoons aji amarillo
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup ground walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 4-6 Yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes, boiled until tender, cut into slices
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and quartered
  • parsley and black olives for garnish, if desired
  1. Shred the chicken meat into long, thin strands.
  2. Soak two slices of bread (minus the crust) in 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and mash with a fork to make a purée.
  3. Dice a yellow onion, mince the garlic, and chop the parsley.
  4. Grind the walnuts using a (mini) food processor.
  5. Prepare the sofrito by sautéing the onion and garlic with the canola oil in a pot over medium to high heat. Cook until onion is translucent.
  6. Add the aji amarillo, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and turmeric and continue to sauté until all the spices are mixed well.
  7. Add the parsley and bread purée minus any extra soaking stock, mix well, reduce heat and cook until the mixture begins to simmer.
  8. Add 3 cups of chicken stock, cook until it begins to simmer.  Then add the shredded chicken.
  9. Stir occasionally and continue to simmer partially covered until stew thickens, about 45 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in ground walnuts, parmesan, and milk.
  11. Serve over slices of cooked potatoes and garnish with a hard-boiled egg, black olive, and sprig of parsley, as desired.

Note: The stew is done when it has reached a thick and creamy consistency, or when you can see the bottom of the pot when stirring the stew with a spoon.

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