I realized recently that I have very few chicken dishes on this blog. And I guess that makes sense since my opinion of chicken is lukewarm at best. I am one of those people that prefers white meat to dark meat (that gamey flavor just gets to me, I’m not going to lie…) and it’s kind of difficult to make chicken breast all that exciting…. and avoid having it be all dried out. Moreover, Dave prefers dark meat… hence we are often at a chicken impasse in the Gourmet Gourmand household.
But never fear!! I have found the answer to our chicken woes.
Peruvian Chicken. With green sauce. Also known as Aji Verde. You need to make this immediately!I do roast a fair number of chickens, and I’ve found that this method is probably the best for creating a juicy, flavorful chicken dish. And plus we can each choose meat pieces from our respective chicken area preferences.
The only problem with roasting whole chickens is the time element. Roasting a whole chicken is not particularly easy to do when you’re rushed for time. (Also getting the bird to cook evenly is a whole different issue…)
So as a result I’m getting more into the idea of roasting individual chicken pieces. This technique is magical and honestly, equally delicious to roasting a whole bird. You still get to keep the bones and skin for added flavor…but you’re looking at a fraction of the time in the oven. (This is especially important when you decide to bake things when it is 95 degrees and your air conditioner decides it can’t really handle any temperatures higher than 85. So.. hallelujah!)Now let’s talk about how amazingly flavorful this recipe is.I’m not sure how familiar my audience is with Peruvian food, but I only recently discovered Peruvian cuisine. It’s a really unique cuisine because a lot of the dishes incorporate both classic Latin American flavors and also Asian elements (primarily Chinese). This basically results in an o.m.g. gastronomic experience that will have you umami-ing prayers to the culinary gods. (And scratching your head because that sentence just made no sense and includes words that are not real.)
Or, you know, you’ll just ask for seconds.This chicken is all about the marinade. Soy sauce, people. It goes in there. Plus a healthy amount of garlic, vinegar, 2 types of paprika, cumin, and oregano. Blend all that up together and douse your chicken in all that spicy, savory, redness.
The issue with marinating skin-on chicken is that you risk only exposing the skin to the marinade and not the actual meat. Therefore, you want to make sure you use your finger to lift up on the skin of the chicken and spoon part of the marinade under the chicken skin. Then arrange the skin back into position, because the skin is critical to maintaining moisture as you roast. If you’ve ever been to a Peruvian restaurant you’ll probably recall the green and yellow sauces that come served with the chicken. These are called Aji Verde and Aji Amarillo. And typically they are made using special Peruvian chile pastes. I included a recipe for Aji Verde here that I adapted from Serious Eats. My recipe does not include a special chile paste, but it is still so. freaking. good. I literally could eat the entire bowl of sauce for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and still not be satisfied. Plus it makes a delicious dipping sauce for the roasted potatoes that you should definitely make to accompany your Peruvian chicken. Just pop the potatoes in the oven while the chicken is baking. This is one of the best chicken recipes I have ever made… I definitely plan to make this again, many times over (and I hate repeating recipes… so you know this one has got to be good).
Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce
_For the Chicken_
- 1 whole chicken quartered (or 2 breast pieces and 2 leg pieces, bone-in, skin on)
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 5 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder or paprika
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
_For the Potatoes_
- 1 lb fingerling potatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
_For the Green Sauce (Aji Verde)_
- 2 whole jalepenos roughly chopped (ribs and seeds included)
- 1 medium clove garlic roughly chopped
- 1 cup packed cilantro
- Juice from ½ lime
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grated cotija cheese can substitute parmesan
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Chicken and Potatoes
- Combine lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, garlic, sugar, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and oregano in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Pour marinade over chicken in a baking dish or large zip-lock bag. Using your finger, loosen the skin from the chicken pieces and spoon additional marinade under the skin. Marinate chicken for at least 6 hours, and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roast on middle rack on foil or parchment-lined baking sheet for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice potatoes lengthwise.
- Toss potatoes in large bowl with oil, salt, and pepper.
- Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roast for 25 minutes on bottom 3rd of the oven, stirring potatoes once during roasting process.
- Serve chicken and potatoes accompanied by Peruvian green sauce.
Instructions for green sauce (Aji Verde)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process/blend until smooth. May need to scrape down the sides a few times with a spatula for even processing.
- Serve with Peruvian Chicken and Roast Potatoes.