PERUVIAN CREAMY CHICKEN STEW – AJI DE GALLINA
A Peruvian classic chicken stew with routes in the French Revolution. Allegedly, French chefs who lost their livelihoods during the revolution migrated to Peru to work for wealthy Peruvian-Creole Families. The resulting combination of French cooking and Peruvian ingredients hailed a number of unusual and delicious dishes like Aji de Gallina. A creamy, slightly spicy chicken stew made with Amarillo chillies and then thickened with walnuts and parmesan. The result is an extremely moreish, bright yellow affair, traditionally served with boiled eggs, potatoes, rice and a few olives.
Our own variation works as a wonderful way to use leftover chicken. Our sauce is every bit as velvety and unctuous, whilst we have opted to make an olive dressing to help cut through the richness of the dish. We also decided to leave the potatoes out as it seems like overkill with the rice!
AJI DE GALLINA
150/200g Cooked Chicken, 50/50 dark & light meat, shredded
2 Amarillo Chillies, rehydrated with seeds removed
2 Garlic Cloves
250ml Chicken Stock
3 tbsp. Creme Fraiche
¼ tsp. Ground Cumin
¼ tsp. Ground Coriander
½ tsp. Turmeric
30g Walnuts, finely ground
15g Parmesan, finely Grated
Generous Pinch of Salt & Pepper
25g Green Olives, finely diced
1 Small Bunch of Coriander, finely diced
1 Small Bunch of Parsley, finely diced
Juice of ½ a Lime
50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 ‘6-minute’ Boiled Eggs
Finely Diced Onion,
Coriander & Lime Rice
THE OLIVE SAUCE
- To make the olive sauce, add all the ingredients into a small mixing bowl and mix together until you have a loose sauce.
THE AJI DE GALLINA
- Add the shallot, garlic and rehydrated Amarillo chillies to a food processor and blitz until finely minced together.
- Place a large pan over a medium heat with a lug of olive oil. Add the onion mix into the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the onions are golden and aromatic. Add the ground spices and cook-off for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Add the shredded chicken to the pan along with the chicken stock and 1tbsp. of creme fraiche and leave to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the walnuts, parmesan and remaining creme fraiche to the pan and leave to cook for a further 3 minutes until a luscious golden sauce is achieved.
- Serve the Aji de Gallina with rice, we used coriander and lime to flavour it, two 6-minute boiled eggs, or hard-boiled if you prefer, and the olive sauce to help offset the richness.