Pollo a la Brasa with Aji Verde Sauce

Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce

The legendary Pollo al a Brasa also popular as Peruvian chicken or Blackened chicken is a deeply flavorful and mildly spicy, roast chicken. Peru has remained near top as a culinary destination over the past few years - this chicken is one of the most popular ones, so much so this dish has its own National day!  There are dozens of ways to make this dish - this is my tried and tested way to make this famous Peruvian chicken roast with the legendary aji verde sauce [Peruvian green sauce] right in your kitchen.  

 

Peruvian cuisine has been influenced by several cultures that have added their own ingredients over decades and cooking techniques to mold the cuisine to what it is today. Starting with the arrival of the Spaniards  in 1531, followed by West Africa influence and subsequently the waves of immigrants from China and Japan have played a definitive role in shaping this cuisine.

Ingredients

  • Chicken thighs - 4 pounds (bone-in and with skin)

Marinade:

  • Garlic cloves - 6

  • Orégano - 1 tablespoon

  • Soy sauce or Coconut aminos - 3 tablespoons

  • Cumin - 1 tablespoon

  • Paprika - 1 tablespoon

  • Aji amarillo paste - 1 1/2 tablespoon*

  • Red wine vinegar - 1 tablespoon

  • Sugar - 1 teaspoon

  • Fresh Lime - 2 squeezed

  • Salt as needed (about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon)

  • Black Pepper - freshly ground

  • Olive Oil

Aji Verde Sauce [Green sauce]:

  • Jalapenos - 2 deseeded

  • Garlic Cloves - 3

  • Aji Amarillo Paste - 1 tablespoon *

  • Fresh Cilantro - 1 cup

  • Lime - 1/3 cup, freshly squeezed

  • Mayonnaise - 1/3 cup*

  • Olive Oil - as needed to emulsify [about 1-2 tablespoons]

  • Salt - as needed [1/2 to 1 teaspoon]

  • Black Pepper - as needed

Peruvian chicken with green sauce

Preparation

  1. Combine all the ingredients for marinade in a blender. Set aside.

  2. Wash the chicken well and pat dry. Using your fingers, create pockets by gently separating the skin from the thigh meat. Slather the marinade generously all over the chicken – under and over the skin. Place chicken in a container, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for atleast 4 hours - overnight works really well.  Reserve the remaining marinade for basting.

  3. An hour before baking the chicken, bring it to room temperature.

  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit  and place a rack in the upper middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil, and set a wire rack on top of the baking sheet. I use a broiler plate and no prep needed for that except to brush the plate with oil.

  5. Place the chicken skin side up and roast the chicken for 25 minutes. Baste the chicken using the reserved marinade and bake for another 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit till the meat reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit (I use a meat thermometer to check).

  6. Take the chicken out of the oven, cover with foil and let it rest 10 minutes before serving. Serve with lime, jalapenos and peruvian green sauce on the side.

  7. Green sauce: Combine all the ingredients under green sauce and blend till well combined. Add enough olive oil to emulsify the sauce.

  8. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken or serve on the side.

Cooking Tips and Substitutions:

  • Substitute Aji amarillo paste with about 5 sweet peppers, a pinch of sugar and a dash of hot sauce.  

  • Substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce - I love the flavor!

  • You can also substitute mayonnaise with Greek yoghurt

  • You can also substitute hatch chillies for jalapenos in the sauce

  • Sprinkle some salt over the skin of the chicken just before baking as it makes it crispier.

  • The sauce goes beautifully with ribs, chops and lamb also.

Original recipe from ChefZee

Products used in this recipe

Aji Amarillo Paste

Coconut Aminos

Broiler rack

Did you try this recipe? I'd LOVE to see it! 

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