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Peruvian Grilled Chicken with a zesty spice blend

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This wonderfully aromatic chicken is big on flavor – make my Peruvian Spice Blend for an authentic spit-roasted chicken with a tender flesh and crispy skin

My Peruvian Spice Blend - essential to capture the essence of flavor
My Peruvian Spice Blend – essential to capture the essence of flavor

Smoky, Salty, Tangy and juicy to the bone. 

Peruvian Cuisine’s Pollo a la Brasa is a common dish, originating in city of Lima in the 1950s. Marinated with local, latin ingredients – the whole bird can be finished in the oven, over spit-fire charcoal or a rotisserie -which seemed to be one man’s solution (and invention) at grilling more birds faster.

To create a moisture rich interior infused with flavor – marinade the chicken.

I have butterflied the chicken to lie flat – so that all the skin can have contact with the grill, a crispy skin is crackling good!
A tangy marinade will penetrate the flesh overnight with a zesty finish (I’m loving Aji peppers found at my local supermarket!) Coat the bird all over with my Peruvian Spice Rub and grill… over charcoal, or a gas grill as I did.

Latin flavors are bold and complex in Karen’s Peruvian Spice Blend, which adds a flavor crust to the exterior of the chicken.

My South American inspired seasoning blend features the Peruvian chile, Aji Amarillo. The lemony, fruity flavor of this medium spicy chile combines well with the subtle tartness of the lemon rind. Other seasonings include cumin, annatto, garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. If the Aji chile is not available, use a moderately spicy chile such as an ancho.
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Peru has one of the great cuisines of the world, which has been gaining popularity all over the globe. It is the original fusion food, having absorbed influences from almost every continent over the last 500 years and melded them with ingredients and dishes that provide a direct link to the Incas. Peru is the ancestral home of potatoes: they have been cultivated there for thousands of years – toss some with oil and the seasoning blend and roast – pairs nicely with the roast chicken.

If you’ve ever had Peruvian food, there’s a good chance you’ve tasted this under appreciated chile. The Aji Amarillo is considered part of the holy trinity of Peruvian cuisine along with garlic and red onions. Peruvian Aji peppers are virtually unknown outside of the Andean region of South America. Aji Amarillo chile pods are 4-5 inches long and are considered a hot chile coming in at 30, 000 to 50, 000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units.)

“Aji” means chile pepper in Spanish, and “amarillo” means yellow. While these are called “yellow chile peppers”, they actually mature to a deep orange color.
The fruity flavor has hints of mango and passion fruit while the fruitiness is different from other chiles, like anchos,  as it is less sharp, with more of a subtle full body.
Peruvian chili peppers are not too spicy, but serve to give elevated taste and color to dishes.

Enjoy this outdoor grilling method – I’ll be thinking of roasting a bird in the oven Peruvian-style as the weather gets cooler, most likely over purple Peruvian Potatoes!

Karen

Corn tacos filled with slices of seasoned chicken, avocado and pickled red onions
Corn tacos filled with slices of seasoned chicken, avocado and pickled red onions – serve with spiced Peruvian potatoes
Marinade the chicken in a mixture with Aji Peppers, then add Peruvian Seasoning
Marinade the chicken in a mixture with Aji Peppers – the chicken is slashed to permeate throughout
Cool the chicken a bit, then slice for tacos or an addition to salad - juicy interior, crispy skin
Cool the chicken a bit, then slice for tacos or an addition to salad – juicy interior, crispy skin
Peruvian Style Potatoes - coated with my seasoning blend
Peruvian Style Potatoes – coated with my seasoning blend
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