By Sam | 01 March, 2019
A trio of delicious Peruvian meals - all to be had from a single roast chicken.


Roast Chicken remains one of my undisputed favourite meals. A single bird, when roasted right, brings so much. Clean, unblemished breasts, unctuous, flavour-packed legs, ever-entertaining wings, and a carcass from which to make decidedly better stock than any cube or pot could hope to yield, regardless of Mr White’s affirmations. All to be achieved from a single, relatively inexpensive bird and a trip into an oven for an hour or two.

A common theme amongst my favourite ingredients to cook with is variety. Something a chicken delivers in spades, and not simply limited to the variety in cuts referenced above. Perhaps of all the traditional subjects of roasting, the chicken feels a veritable blank canvas - capable of donning a seemingly endless array of flavours and guises.

And finally, to wrap up my sales-pitch as to the merits of roast chicken comes possibly the best element of all - leftovers.

Upon taking that next leap and moving in with your partner, the first 6 months or so inevitably lead to some new discoveries about your significant other. Some rather better than others! Within my own experience was the discovery that Roast Chicken needn't be limited to family gatherings and Sunday lunches. As a couple, a single roast chicken can yield an obviously wonderful original feast, but will then yield an array of delicious meals using the leftovers - as varied as you can imagine given the variety chicken yields as alluded to earlier. 


A few years ago, Peruvian food EXPLODED in London and across Europe. Seemingly overnight, Ceviche and Quinoa were commonplace menu items while Pisco Sours became a regular order. A wonderfully different array of flavours and ingredients to many European palates - Peruvian cuisine represented a real voyage of discovery for us when we began to explore the rapidly-increasing Peruvian restaurant offering in London.

Following a trip to Peru, tasting the authentic dishes already sampled in Europe only furthered our love for this cuisine. It also opened our eyes as to the breadth of ingredients that originate from this part of the world, both familiar and newly discovered.

Tomatoes, potatoes, corn, peppers - at this point, ubiquitous ingredients found throughout the world. They seem omnipresent among continental cuisine, yet all have origins linked to Peru and were only introduced to Europe at the tail-end of the 14th Century. As a European, it certainly makes you reassess the so-called food staples you might naively assume had been consumed since records began. 

However, it was the unfamiliar ingredients which really sparked our imaginations, in particular the yellow chillies grown throughout Peru - Aji Amarillo.  
Peruvian Aji Amarillo


A member of the Capsicum Baccatum family, Aji Amarillo is one of five domesticated peppers grown throughout Peru and makes up what Peruvians consider to be the Holy Trinity - Red Onion, Garlic and Aji Amarillo.

Translated as ‘Yellow Chili Pepper’, Aji Amarillo matures to a bright orange colour, boasting a reasonably fierce heat to match its hue. Though undeniably spicy, the pepper’s heat is balanced with a fruity sweetness that gives a unique, complex flavour to the dishes this chilli is used in.

Described by some as the single most important ingredient in Peruvian cuisine, the Aji Amarillo is used extensively throughout Peruvian cooking bringing heat, complexity of flavour and an intriguing bright yellow hue to many of the classic dishes. It also makes them utterly, inarguably delicious.

We have chosen to celebrate this amazing chilli in three of our own takes on classic Peruvian staples.


Depending on where you live, getting your hands on these delicious chillies may be a bit more challenging. Dried Amarillo chillies can be found in many good supermarkets and can be found easily online. Aji Amarillo paste can also be found in many good supermarkets and even frozen peppers.

We usually use Dried Peppers. 


Below, we share a meal plan of sorts which will yield at least three separate meals for two from a single roast chicken whilst celebrating our love of Peruvian food and its Amarillo Chilli.     

Peruvian Roast Chicken - Pollo a la Brassa


Your meals begin with Pollo a la Brasa - a Peruvian staple and revered dish. Originally a simple rotisserie cooked chicken, such was the love of this dish, that it has since evolved into a ‘Secret Sauce’ marinated whole chicken grilled to perfection over charcoal. Our own version features a sweet, sour and spicy Aji Amirillo marinated spatchcocked chicken and a tangy green sauce that will unashamedly be proclaimed the real star of the show. A real lip smacking variation to your classic roast chicken. Just try and make sure you don’t polish off the whole thing!


Next up comes a true Peruvian Classic - 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 the leftovers from the Pollo a la Brasa you enjoyed before. Our sauce is every bit as velvety and unctuous as the traditional, whilst we have opted to make an olive sauce 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!
Peruvian Quinoa Chicken Soup


Wrapping things up is our Quinoa and Chicken Soup. Quinoa Soup is a staple meal eaten throughout Peru. A delicious and versatile dish, these soups are a wonderful vehicle for flavours and using up odds and ends. With our own variation we’ve chosen to celebrate some classic, native peruvian ingredients - Potatoes, Tomatoes, Amarillo Chillies and Quinoa, with a little of our leftover chicken and lime thrown in for good measure. A wonderful, quick and comforting weeknight meal.
Let us know how your Peruvian Meal Plan goes in the comments!


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