Pollo a la Brasa is so many things. Savory, spicy, juicy, crispy and practically the national dish of Peru. There are many renditions of this herbaceous chicken. This recipe is adapted from Epicurious. You will learn at least one new technique in this recipe if you wish: how to “spatchcock” a chicken. If you are intimidated by the word and the process you can choose to use chicken parts. I dare you not to eat the Aji Verde or green sauce from the bowl with a spoon. It is irresistible. Once you learn how to make it, you will see that it is adaptable for many other things and could be used as a salad dressing, a dip, or my favorite method, just eating it from the bowl with a spoon.
Peruvian Chicken or “Pollo a la Brasa”
Published on May 13, 2019 | By surleplat |
- Cook Time
- For the chicken:
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 (3-4 lb) whole chicken or 11/2 - 2 lbs chicken parts, bone in with skin
- Aji Verde or Green Sauce:
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems
- 2 medium jalapeños, coarsely chopped with ribs and seeds if you want spice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup mayo or sour cream
- For the salad:
- 1 firm ripe avocado, cubed
- 2 cucumbers, seeded and cubed
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 scallions thinly sliced
- Juice of one lime
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, coarsely chopped
- Make marinade for chicken: Mix garlic, cumin, oil, paprika, pepper, oregano, 1/2 tsp. salt, and finely grated zest from 1 lime in a medium bowl. Squeeze juice from one lime and stir into spice mixture.
- Place chicken breast side down on work surface. Spatchcock chicken by cutting along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears. Remove backbone. Turn chicken breast side up and splay open. Press down on breastbone with palms until you hear it crack and the chicken is as flat as possible. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
- From both edges of the chicken cavity, or from individual chicken pieces, loosen skin from breasts and thighs, being careful not to tear skin. Using your fingers, gently spread 2 heaping TBSP. spice mixture under skin (reserve remaining spice mixture), then season chicken all over with remaining juice of one lime and 1 tsp. salt. Transfer chicken, spread flat and skin side up, to a roasting pan preferably with a rack, and allow chicken to rest and marinate for at least 6 hours.
- While the chicken is marinating, you can make the green sauce and the salad. For the green sauce: Purée cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, oil, lime juice, and salt in a blender until combined. Add mayonnaise or sour cream and purée until well blended. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill until ready to use.
- For the salad: Gently toss cucumbers, avocado, scallions, tomatoes, lime juice, oil, salt, and 1/2 cup cilantro in a large bowl. Sprinkle with more cilantro.
- Heat the oven to 400. Place the chicken in a roasting pan or in a large skillet and roast for 20 minutes, then brush with remaining spice mixture and pan juices. Continue roasting, basting with spice mixture and pan juices every 20 minutes, until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork, 50-60 minutes total for a whole chicken. A little less, 40-45 minutes for separate chicken pieces. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes, reserving pan juices.
- If serving a whole chicken divide into quarters or serve the individual roasted pieces. Yummy with rice, the cucumber salad and the irresistible green sauce on the side.