El Ají de gallina or in English chicken in chili sauce is one of the emblematic dishes of Peruvian cuisine.
Peru is a gastronomic destination known all over the world. By the end of 2016, the country again and for the fifth consecutive year was voted the best food destination of the WTA, World Travel Awards, something like the Oscars of the gastronomy, by an international jury. Peru is well ahead of France, Japan, Mexico, Italy and Spain.
In Peru you eat well and varied due to the different climates known in the country, between the coast, jungle and mountains. They also grow grapes and make a good wine.
If you are interested, we regularly offer some famous Peruvian recipes that can be prepared at home. A taste of Peru before planning your next trip or to remember your trip once back. Maybe you would like to prepare it one night, a good way to spice up a party where you can show photos of your trip to your family or friends.
I have already presented in an earlier article the recipe Papa a la Huancaina or Potato in Huancayo sauce.
Today, still with yellow chili, here is a very popular recipe in Peru. You will find this on the menu of many restaurants. This is a typical example of the fusion cuisine result of waves of migrations from Europe including French, oh yes, mixed with Creole slaves.
Aji de Gallina or Chicken in chili sauce
Ingredients for 6 people:
One chicken of 1,5 kg (you can use, and it is easier to get for the recipe, a chicken breast, as in the photographs)
1 cube of chicken broth
1 bay leaf
6 garlic cloves
6 yellow chili (elongated chili yellow-orange and less strong than red. The amount depends on your taste for spicy food and if you have children)
4 slices of bread
200g of walnuts finely chopped
1 small can of concentrated milk without sugar (« leche evaporada » en Espagnol)
200g of parmesan
12 black olives, boneless and cut into quarters
Oil, salt and pepper
Recommended presentation for this dish :
3 hard-boiled eggs
In order to begin the preparation of the recipe Aji de Gallina, you start by cutting the chicken into pieces (if you have bought the chicken breasts this will be easier). Put them in a pot, and cook with the cube of chicken broth, the carrot cut in 4 and 2 cloves of chopped garlic and the bay leaf.
When it is already cooked, begin to crumble, deflate the meat with your fingers, reserve and refrigerate.
It is advisable to reserve a plate of chicken broth.
This procedure can be done the day before or in the morning for the night in order to let it rest.
Put the bread soaked in milk.
In a frying pan, put oil, the onions cut into quarters, the rest of chopped garlic, put the chili in the mixer with a little of broth and after having removed the seeds, spice up.
When the onions are transparent, add the drained bread, which you already have passed through the mixer, mix all and add the broth. Cook to simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the chunks of cooked chicken. Mix well.
If you have prepared the dish in advance, you will finish with the following at the last moment.
5 minutes before serving, add salt, add walnut, thicken with a little of concentrated milk without sugar. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Rectify the seasoning.
Serve with white rice; we are in Peru, right? Decorate with the potatoes around (yes, with rice only it is too light!). Decorate with a half boiled egg, olives and a little parsley.
Bon appétit !
It is very good!!
Suggestion of wine to accompany this dish :
To accompany this succulent chicken, why not a good white wine? Personally, I love the Tacama gran blanco (the great white Tacama).
Tacama is the oldest vineyard in Peru. It was established 1540 by the Spaniards 300 kilometres south of Lima, on the Ica side, the area from where also comes the famous Pisco.
Yes, the grapes came with the Spaniards, the cepages are however clearly typically hexagonal.
This excellent well balanced white wine contains grape varieties, which are well known to us such as Sauvignon, Chenin and Chardonnay. You should be able to purchase this wine in France in specialized stores such as the Peruvian shop El Inti in Paris, 17 rue of Picardie in the 3rd district.
This Atacama perfectly accompanies your Ají de Gallina.
PS: to make this recipe, I inspired myself “freely” of the recipe of chicken in chili sauce of the book “La cocina de Perú, recetas básicas” from the Perugia Editions.