Have you had a chance to try Peruvian cuisine? Its actually very diverse and full of flavor and spices. Peruvian food is not just spicy but also sweet, smoky, savory and tangy. It gives you the full flavor profile in every dish, in every bite you take. Characteristics that remind me a lot of Indian cuisine actually.
One of the Peruvian dishes that I really love is a simple rotisserie chicken with the famous Aji Verde sauce or Peruvian Green Sauce from Pio Pio (a popular Peruvian restaurant chain in NYC). I can’t tell which one I love more the crispy, tender perfectly cooked chicken or the mysterious green sauce, which is just the right balance of creamy, spicy, and smoky. Either way, I decided that I can’t have one without the other. So I found a recipe that replicates the amazing sauce from Pio Pio and created a recipe for mouth watering grilled chicken.
The green sauce is pretty similar to Indian cilantro chutney’s. One of the main differences is the addition of Aji Amarillo paste, this is a Peruvian Hot Yellow Pepper Paste. Aji Amarillo chili peppers are unique to South America. The peppers offer a medium heat which is then balanced by a somewhat fruity flavor.
Another difference is that the sauce creamier that most Indian cilantro chutney’s, this is because of the addition of mayonnaise. But try this recipe and you may just switch over! It’s such a well balanced sauce, its addicting!
Recipe here for the: Peruvian Green Sauce
The Spiced Chicken
For the chicken, I don’t have a rotisserie and the grocery stores ones definitely do not cut the bill but I do have a grill! So I just put together a nice spice blend that’s heavy on cumin, smoked paprika and garlic and coated the chicken in the mixture. Let the chicken marinate with the spices for at least 20 minutes and grill on medium heat until the temperature of the chicken reads 165° F.
Once the chicken has cooled, serve with a side of that amazing green sauce (and if you have want to round out the meal make some rice and beans!)
Peruvian-Style Grilled Chicken
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 pounds chicken I used bone-in skin on thighs and drumsticks
- Mix together all of the spices. Add the oil, lemon juice, vinegar and garlic paste, this will help to turn the mixture into a thick paste.
- Rub the paste onto the chicken
- Let the chicken rest for about 20 minutes
- Pre-heat grill to high. Cook chicken on medium high heat until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165°F.
- Take chicken off grill and allow to cool before serving
- Serve with Peruvian green sauce!