Aji de Gallina (Chicken in Aji Sauce)

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A couple of years ago, we celebrated my husband’s birthday at a Peruvian restaurant. I ordered this dish, Aji de Gallina, and LOVED it. This is the second year my husband has made it for me for my birthday! This is his second guest post. 🙂 I am such a sauce person, and this dish has a wonderful complex sauce with Aji (Amarillo chili powder) giving it a spicy kick. Last year, he substituted chili powder because we had difficulty finding Aji in time. We ordered it online this year and the dish was perfect. This recipe was adapted from Food Network.com, contributed by M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, and Yanuq,com, Cooking in Peru.

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, meat shredded
  • 2 to 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups soft bread crumbs, from crusted white bread
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons yellow Aji, Amarillo or chili powder
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 pounds small potatoes, boiled, peeled and halved
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • Chopped parsley for garnish, optional
  1. Prepare the bread crumbs, chicken meat, potatoes, and hard-boiled eggs (13 minutes covered after water boils).
  2. Soak the bread crumbs in the evaporated milk.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and saute for 1 more minute. Add softened bread and aji or chile powder, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring. (For a creamier sauce, place onion-bread mixture in a blender, puree until smooth and return to skillet.) Add 2 cups of the chicken stock and continue cooking until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 to 8 more minutes, adding more stock if needed. Stir in the walnuts and Parmesan cheese, and simmer gently for another 5 minutes, or until thickened slightly. To serve, spoon chicken and sauce onto a serving platter and surround with potatoes and eggs. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

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