Peruvian Grilled Chicken (Pollo a La Brasa)
Peruvian Grilled Chicken can be grilled many ways. The whole chicken can be butterflied by removing the backbone and flattened. It can be quartered or you can use a vertical roaster or set the chicken upright on a can of beer half full or it can be grilled using a rotisserie. We chose use our Weber Rotisserie attachment and cooked two whole chickens at once. This recipe is for one whole chicken. The trick is to get the skin nicely roasted without drying out the chicken. It is important that you buy a 3-4 lbs. whole chicken because they are the tenderest and they fit into a gallon size Ziploc bag. Any larger and the chicken will be tough. It is a must to loosen the skin gently with your fingers without tearing it and spreading at least half the marinade between skin and meat then rub the remaining marinade on the outside of the chicken. Marinating the chicken overnight will help to insure that the flavor is deeply ingrained in the meat.
Traditional Peruvian Chicken is typically served with Aji Amarillo Sauce (Crema de Aji). Aji Amarillo is an orange pepper when mature and used in many traditional Peruvian dishes. I can only find it in paste form here in Norcross. It is quite spicy like a jalapeno but makes a lovely sauce when combined with mayonnaise and lime juice. It is also a great spread for leftover chicken sandwiches so save the leftovers!
Peruvian Grilled Chicken
1 ea. 3-4 lbs. whole chicken
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of cumin
1.5 teaspoons of kosher salt
1.5 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 lime juiced
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 gallon size Ziploc bag
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Mix the remaining ingredients except the Ziploc bag in a small bowl. Gently loosen the skin over the breast and thigh/leg areas. Spread half the marinade under the skin and the other half over the skin. Place the chicken in the Ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight. Light a charcoal grill. When the coals are grey move them to both sides of the grill leaving the center empty. This insures the chicken will not be over direct flame while cooking. Place your chicken using your prefer method of cooking, i.e. rotisserie, vertical roaster, beer can, quartered or butterflied in the center of the grill. If grilling the chicken whole, cook until the thigh meat registers 165 degrees about 1 hour and fifteen minutes give or take. Remove from the grill and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
Aji Amarillo Sauce (Cream de Aji)
¼ cup of mayonnaise
½ lime juiced
1 tablespoon of Aji Amarillo paste (or to taste)
Salt & Pepper
In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients together.
I like to serve this chicken with Saffron Rice Pilaf.
Save the leftover chicken and the Aji Amarillo sauce for great chicken sandwiches. Spread the sauce on a sliced bun and top with the chicken and freshly sliced avocado.
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