Peruvian style chicken, or Pollo a la Brasa, is a wonder of simple flavors. Traditionally it’s rotisserie grilled over charcoal, and you can find prepared that way it in chicken joints all over the east and west coasts of the US. Once you’ve had it, particularly if you’ve somehow stumbled into the place after a few beers, it can be sort of addictive – especially the green sauce that often accompanies the chicken. Peruvian chicken is harder to find in some other areas, but luckily it’s easy to make a (somewhat less authentic) version at home.
Usually, you’ll find the dish is made with whole chickens that are then broken down for serving. Here, of course, i’m using chicken thighs because … well, that’s what this site is about. But they’re also the perfect protein for this preparation. With a higher fat content and more collagen in the meat, hey hold up to both the marinade, and the style of cooking, yielding unctuous meat and the crisp charred skin that’s a trademark of the style.
I don’t pretend this is an authentic recipe – thus the “style” in the title. While there are a lot of different recipes for this style of chicken, I’ve taken a few liberties with the preparation to give you something that’s easy to make, delicious, and generally uses ingredients you’ll already have.
Peruvian Style ChickenCourse: Bone-In, Dinner, Grilled, South AmericanCuisine: Latin American
Grilled Peruvian style chicken with green sauce.
- Chicken and Marinade
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp neutral oil
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
1 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp liquid smoke (optional)
- Green Sauce
½ bunch cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 jalapeno pepper
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
- Add all ingredients except the chicken to the container of a blender or food processor.
- Process until relatively smooth and no large pieces remain.
- Add the liquid smoke if you are using an oven or gas grill to finish the chicken. It is not necessary if you are grilling over wood or charcoal or using a smoker.
- Add the chicken and marinade to a large, plastic storage bag, massaging the bag to coat the chicken well.
- Allow chicken and marinade to rest in the refrigerator at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- Grill over medium heat, about 6 minutes per side, or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 170° and is no longer pink at the bone.
- Serve with green sauce (below) and crushed, fried new potatoes.
- Green Sauce
- Add all ingredients to the container of a blender and blend until smooth. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour before use.
Be sure to check out my other food project, The Weekly Menu!