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The Hirshon Peruvian Grilled Chicken – Pollo a La Brasa

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 1 whole broiler/fryer chicken (23 pounds), or bone-in/skin-on chicken pieces of your choice
  • ***
  • For the marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup dark beer (I prefer Guinness)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons huacatay (Peruvian black mint) paste – available on Amazon or substitute equal parts fresh mint and basil
  • 1 tablespoon aji panca paste – available on Amazon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon shiro miso (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon liquid hickory smoke (optional but recommended if roasting – omit if grilling)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Yuzu Kosho (preferred) or ground sansho pepper – both of these ingredients are themselves optional and available on Amazon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less according to your heat preference)
  • ***
  • Green Aji Sauce Ingredients:
  • 6 medium jalapeno peppers, seeds and veins removed
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (leaves and stems), packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 3 ounces (80 grams) queso fresco, farmer’s cheese or feta cheese (Feta cheese preferred, see tips)
  • 2 teaspoons natural peanut butter (optional)
  • ***
  • Yellow Aji Sauce Ingredients
  • 3 ounces (80 grams) queso fresco (fresh cheese), farmer’s cheese or feta
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 4 aji peppers (seeds & veins removed) or 1/4 cup aji amarillo paste
  • 4 small sprigs huacatay or 1/2 teaspoon huacatay paste
  • 4 Tablespoons (15 mL) vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon raw peanuts
  • salt, to taste


  1. For the Chicken:
  2. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Loosen the skin on the chicken and rub a goodly amount of marinade under the skin. Place the chicken or chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade over. Shake to evenly coat the pieces. Marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. If using a convection oven: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and roast the chicken pieces for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and roast the chicken for another 15-20 minutes.
  5. If using a conventional oven: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and roast the chicken pieces on the middle rack of the oven until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 160 degrees F, about 45 minutes. If the skin begins to brown too much, move the roasting pan to the bottom rack. You can also reduce the oven temperature.
  6. If using a grill (hopefully charcoal-based) – grill until done.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven or grill. It is recommended that you tent the chicken with foil for 10-15 minutes before serving. If using a whole chicken, cut the chicken into serving pieces.
  8. Serve the chicken with Peruvian Aji green and/or yellow sauce.
  9. Traditional sides include a salad and thickly cut French fries – go with purple potatoes if you have them for even more authenticity.
  10. From
  11. Because we live in Peru, friends back home often ask us how to make Peruvian aji (chili) sauce. Spicy, addictive and a striking shade of green, this unique sauce or salsa is quick and easy to prepare. Traditionally served with rotisserie chicken and French fries, it is also delicious spooned over potatoes, fish or beef. Or serve this sauce as a dip with bread cubes, fresh veggies or potato chips.
  12. Recipes for the sauce vary from region to region and, depending on the hot peppers you choose, it may also be yellow or orange in color. Two main ingredients in Peruvian aji sauce are cilantro and hot chiles. In the United States, jalapeno peppers are easy to find and make a tasty sauce. In Peru, two common ingredients are the herb huacatay and the hot pepper aji amarillo (aji marisol). Authentic Peruvian aji sauce is not made with mayonnaise or lettuce.
  13. Below you will find recipes for both green and yellow aji sauce, depending on the ingredients you have on hand. Try these sauces with Crispy Homemade French Fries or Sweet Potato Fries for a special treat.
  14. Enjoy! Or as we say in Peru…¡Provecho!
  15. Tips:
  16. If serving the sauce over potatoes, you may want to thin it with a little milk, cream or vegetable oil. To thicken sauce, Peruvian cooks add one or two saltine crackers or a piece of dry bread before blending.
  17. You can substitute ⅓ cup drained cottage cheese for the feta cheese or queso fresco.
  18. Increase salt if using cottage cheese or queso fresco.
  19. Peruvian aji sauce can vary from mild to spicy depending on the peppers you choose. If you’d like more heat, don’t remove the veins or seeds from the peppers.
  20. The optional peanut butter adds depth without overpowering the sauce and is a typical ingredient in some regions of Peru. Try aji sauce first without peanut butter and then with it. We like it best with the peanut butter.
  21. Also called Peruvian Black Mint or Mexican Marigold, huacatay is actually in the marigold family. The leaves add a pungent flavor and incomparable depth to soups, stew, sauces and meat marinades.
  22. Huacatay is also used as a home remedy for anything from the common cold to stomach aches.
  23. Green Aji Sauce Instructions
  24. Pour 2 Tablespoons of neutral-flavored vegetable oil into a medium skillet over medium heat.
  25. Sauté peppers, onion and garlic clove until softened, about 4 minutes.
  26. Pour into a blender container the sauteed vegetables, 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil, cilantro, salt, cheese and peanut butter (if using).
  27. Blend on high until thick and creamy, about one minute.
  28. Yellow Aji Sauce Instructions
  29. Coarsely chop peppers, onion and garlic.
  30. Pour 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil into a medium skillet. Over medium heat, sauté vegetables until soft.
  31. Scrape vegetables into a blender container. Add the remaining ingredients (including the rest of the vegetable oil) and blend for several minutes, until thick and creamy.
  32. Drizzle over steamed potatoes or serve with fries, beef or chicken.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours

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