Peruvian Grilled Chicken
Clean and dry chicken. Butterfly and cut out back bone with a kitchen shear. Or, cut down the side of the backbone, leaving the backbone attached.
Place on a clean surface (hint: line with waxed paper.) Flatten the chicken with the heal of your hand, break the breastbone.
Slash the chicken twice on each breast, and twice on each thigh. Dry well.
Place the marinade ingredients in a blender (lime juice through aji peppers.) Add more peppers if you like very spicy. Add 2 t. of Peruvian Spice Blend.
Whirl until pureed, about 1 minute. Add chicken to a large, non-reactive bowl. Pour marinade all over and mix in well.
Refrigerate overnight, or at least 6 hours.
Set the grill to low (I have used a gas grill.) Take chicken out of refrigerator for 15 minutes while the grill heats. Wipe off any marinade.
Place on a rimmed baking pan (line with wax paper for easy clean up.) Coat the chicken well with reserved seasoning (1 T. & 1 t.)
Add the chicken to the grill breast side up and cook until 120 degrees, (about 30 degrees shy of finished) which should take 45 – 50 minutes.
Turn the temperature to high. Turn chicken over, skin side down.
Cook until the skin has darkened and has crisped. Watch the grill for flare ups! – Chicken skin can burn quickly. Place on cooler side of grill, or turn heat down if it’s getting too dark. (Alternately, choose a charcoal grill, use a two zone indirect fire.)
Crisp until an instant read thermometer inserted into deepest part of breast registers 150°F, about 10 minutes longer.
Remove from grill to a rimmed baking pan, or a wooden carving board to cool. Add a sprinkling more of the seasoning while warm if desired. Taste for salt.
Cut into fourths or eighths. Serve with lime wedges, and the juices from the pan.
For tacos or salads, remove chicken from the bones and slice.
* Aji peppers are available fresh, frozen and dried. I have used frozen for the marinade (from the latin section of a supermarket – free of preservatives.)