Peruvian Roast Chicken

Sunday Nite Dinner (SND) was at Jane and Mark's place this past week. Jane texted me Sunday morning and asked if we wanted to have SND at her place. This is usually how SND happens. Typically, someone wants to cook dinner and calls around to see who is available to come over.

Jane was planning on making Peruvian roast chicken and guacamole. I told her Hungry Bear and I would go to the store and pick up vegetables and make a veggie dish and surprise, surprise -- a chocolate dessert.

So this week's SND menu was created...

  • Fresh Guacamole and Chips
  • Peruvian Roast Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce
  • Stir Fried Broccolini with Olive Oil and Garlic
  • Chocolate Pudding Cake topped with Dr. Bob's Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream

When Hungry Bear and I arrived at Jane and Mark's place, they were in the process of prepping the chicken. The recipe for Peruvian chicken with aji verde can be found in the Food Network Kitchens Cookbook. The recipe requires one whole head of garlic. Thankfully, Mark is the ultimate prep chef and his garlic mincing skills have become legendary.

The chicken is stuffed with garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper. A paste consisting of garlic, cumin, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and vegetable oil is applied to the chicken before it goes into the rotisserie oven. The chicken can also be roasted in a regular oven, but we prefer it rotisserie style.

As we waited the hour and twenty five minutes for the chicken to roast, we made fresh guacamole to snack on. I didn't follow a recipe, but this guacamole recipe is very similar in preparation. The guac and chips were delicious and we tried not to overeat. I think everyone was successful except for me. I have no self control when it comes to food. If it's in front of me, I'll eat it.

For the vegetable dish, Hungry Bear made broccolini in her signature style, which is how she prepares most of her vegetables... stir-fried in olive oil with garlic and salt. It's a very simple method, which is quick, healthy and very good. We like to let vegetables stand on their own, instead of masking them with a heavy sauce.

The best part of the Peruvian chicken is the aji verde sauce that goes on top of it. Jane made the aji verde, which is a quick mix of cilantro, Cotija cheese, jalapenos, garlic, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, water and kosher salt. There's no cooking required, just a quick puree in a blender is required.

The Peruvian roast chicken came out of the rotisserie extra moist, even the white meat. The chicken with aji verde on top is simply amazing. I love pouring the aji verde on everything... chicken, rice and broccolini!

Chocolate Pudding Cake

We ended SND with chocolate pudding cake with chocolate chunks. It's a nice treat to get an extra hit of chocolate goodness from the melted bittersweet chunk.  The pudding cake was warm, chocolaty and gooey, but it was missing its usual crispy, chewy top layer. It was probably due to the variance of oven temps between my oven and Jane's... now we know.

Sunday Nite Dinner was very satisfying. Since there were only four of us, it was a pretty low key SND, but it also means more food for us and leftovers for Jane and Mark!

SNDsters: Mark, Jane, Hungry Bear, Chuck

Updated January 30th, 2008: Added a link to the chocolate pudding cake recipe.

Peruvian Roast Chicken Recipe

Serves 4

1 head garlic
1 3- to 4-pound chicken, excess fat trimmed and giblets removed
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove 5 cloves from the garlic head, then halve the remaining head horizontally. Season the chicken cavity with salt and pepper to taste, then stuff with the halved garlic. Smash the garlic cloves, sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons salt, and, with the side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Put the garlic in a bowl and mix with vinegar, the 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and cumin. Rub the garlic mixture on the outside of the chicken. Whisk the soy sauce and sugar together and brush all over the outside of the bird. Tuck the wings under the back, cross the legs, and tie them with kitchen twine. Set a v-rack or regular rack in a roasting pan and brush with oil.

2) Place the chicken breast side down on the rack and roast until the back is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the chicken breast side up. Cut the string where it holds the legs together and gently open up the legs a bit. Baste the chicken with the pan drippings and roast again until the breast is golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 170 degrees F, 20 to 25 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Carve the chicken and serve drizzled with the sauce.

Aji Verde Sauce Recipe

3/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup Cotija Cheese
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
2 to 3 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and diced (keep the seeds if heat is desired)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1) Puree the cilantro, cheese, olive oil, water, jalapenos, garlic, vinegar, and salt in a blender until smooth.

[Recipe via Food Network Kitchens Cookbook]

[tags]peruvian, chicken, aji verde, rotisserie, chocolate, pudding cake, guacamole, broccolini, dr bobs, scharffen berger, roast[/tags]

11 Comments on “Peruvian Roast Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce”

  1. That Peruvian Roast sounds scrumptious! At my restaurant in Boonton NJ, we marinate our Peruvian Roast chicken in a similar rub overnight, although our recipe is paprika-based (but still with lots of garlic!). I also notice the Aji sauce contains no lettuce or green onion, but I bet the red wine adds quite a flavor instead – must try it. Thanks for posting your recipe. Love the SND idea.

  2. Scott said:

    Peruvian Roasted Chicken is GREAT! We tried it tonight.

  3. What an excellent post! We’re going to try this for an event on Friday. I’ll let you know how it turned out.

  4. Carrie said:

    I made a chicken with this sauce for dinner this past Saturday, and my husband and I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  5. sdasdfdf said:

    what the…, why did you mention jalapenos, jalapenos are mexican,they are NOT peruvian. you are corrupting peruvian recipes

  6. dashiell said:

    when do you use the vegetable oil?

  7. Tom Krehbiel said:

    A more “authentic” choice than jalapenos, if you can’t fine actual Peruvian aji amarillo, would be rocoto. It’s grown in Mexico and can be found in certain markets in the US. I get mine in one of the larger Food City stores in Tucson, AZ. The Mexican name for rocoto is chile manzano. The ones I get are yellow orange. The guaranteed identification is that they have black seeds. I’m told they are the only chiles with that characteristic.

  8. Tom Krehbiel said:

    Oops…make that “find” in the first sentence.

  9. Not sure why in Miami when we ask Peruvian restaurants what is in the green sauce, the most common answer is “it is our secret recipe and we can’t disclose the recipe” It seems this is a common pattern. I was actually doing research on a recipe as we visit a Peruvian restaurant at our Miami food tour and people LOVE it but unfortunately we can’t get them to spell the recipe and we get the usual question “can we have the recipe?”
    Thanks for this post, we have a direction now to give them this recipe!


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