Peruvian Cuisine: Chicken in Aji Sauce (Aji De Gallina)


Erika Pereyra is a relatively new member of the South Arm Community Kitchen.  We were glad that she’s sharing some of her favourite Peruvian dishes in the South Arm Community Kitchen.  Erika shared with us that Peruvian cuisine has lots of influences from Spanish cuisine.  One can also find a lot of Japanese and Chinese restaurants in Peru.

I bet you will never guess that Peruvian Cuisine has one of the most diverse in the world and is at the same level of cuisines of the Chinese, Indian, French and Spanish. Lima, the capital of Peru, is referred to as the “gastronomic capital of the Americas”.

The video above on Peruvian Cuisine is a bit long but I find it interesting that the country of Peru is so rich in gastronomic heritage. Did you know too that Peru is home to about 2000 types of potatoes? Peru accounts for 40% of all potato varieties in the world.

Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-17-600x400

The first dish which Erika shared with us is called Chicken in Aji Sauce (Aji De Gallina).  Aji is a kind of pepper, also known as Peruvian hot pepper.

Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-2-600x400

The above are two types of Aji pepper which Erika introduced to us, one in the form of paste while another is whole.  Erika told us that we can find Peruvian groceries in Killarney Market at 49th Ave East Vancouver.  For the Chicken in Aji Sauce, we used Aji paste.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2.2 lbs (1 kg) boiled potatoes
  • 8 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (100g) ground aji amarillo fresco or 4 fresh yellow aji pepper
  • 6 slices bread, soaked in approximately 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons (50g) chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons (50g) ground parmesan cheese
  • 10 black olives, pitted
  • 3 hardboiled eggs for garnishing
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley for garnishing

Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-1-600x400

Instructions

Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-3-300x200Prepare the hardboiled egg by placing the eggs in cold water and bring the water to boil and boil for 15 minutes.  Drain the eggs and place them in cold water for easier peeling.
Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-7-300x200Trim the crust off the bread.

Soak the bread in milk until the milk is soaked up.

Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-20-200x300Blend the bread in a blender, add more milk if necessary until smooth.  The bread helps to thicken the sauce.
Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-9Boil the potatoes until the potatoes are cooked, i.e. when a knife inserted into the potato will have no resistance.

Drain the potatoes and let them cool enough to handle.  Peel the potatoes.

Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-10-300x200Slice the potatoes in 1/2 cm slices.
Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-8-300x200Place the chicken breast in a pot of salted hot water.  Cover and bring to boil and cook until chicken is tender, about 35 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pot and reserves the chicken broth for later use.

Let the chicken cool before shredding the chicken into thin strips.

Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-11-300x200In a large frying pan, saute the onion, garlic and aji pepper paste until the onion is soft but not colored.
Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-12-300x200Add the bread mixtures and stir to blend.

Add more broth or/and milk to reach the desired consistency.

Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-14-300x200Add the shredded chicken and chopped pecans.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese as desired.

Chicken-in-Aji-Sauce-16-300x200Arrange the potatoes slices at the bottom of a serving platter.  Top with the chicken mixture.  Garnish with hardboiled eggs (cut in quarters), olives (cut in quarters) and chopped parsley.  Peruvian will serve this with steamed rice.

One thought on “Peruvian Cuisine: Chicken in Aji Sauce (Aji De Gallina)

  1. Pingback: Chow Times » Peruvian Cuisine: Potatoes Huancaina Style (Papas a La Huancaina)

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