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Peruvian Spicy Creamed Chicken - Aji de Gallina

User Rating 4 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

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Aji de Gallina
Feralbt/Wikimedia Commons
Aji de gallina is a delicious Peruvian classic - slightly spicy and bright yellow from the famous aji amarillo peppers, and rich from the unusual cream sauce made with ground walnuts. This dish is traditionally served over rice, with boiled yellow potatoes and black olives. You can buy frozen yellow aji peppers (they often look more orange than yellow) at Latin food markets. You can also find jarred aji amarillo paste, which works well too. If you can't find aji amarillo peppers, then substitute another hot chile pepper and add a yellow bell pepper for color.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3-4 yellow aji peppers
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices white bread
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 yellow potatoes
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 10 black olives, halved

Preparation:

  1. Cook the yellow potatoes in salted water until tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool, peel, cut into quarters, and set aside.

  2. Place the bread in a small bowl and pour the evaporated milk over it to soak. Set aside.

  3. Place the chicken breasts in a pot with the chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until chicken is just barely cooked through.

  4. Set chicken aside to cool. Strain broth and reserve 2 cups.

  5. Remove stems and seeds from the peppers. In a blender, process peppers with the vegetable oil until smooth.

  6. Sauté the garlic and onions with the puréed peppers and oil, until the onions are soft and golden. Remove from heat and let cool.

  7. Shred the cooled chicken into bite-size pieces.

  8. In a blender or food processor, process the evaporated milk and bread mixture with the nuts and parmesean cheese until smooth. Add the cooked onion mixture and process briefly.

  9. Return onion mixture to pan, and add 1 1/2 cups of the reserved chicken stock. Bring to a low simmer, and stir in the chicken. Heat until warmed through, adding more chicken stock if sauce is too thick.

  10. Serve over rice, garnished with the yellow potatoes, slices of hard boiled egg, and black olives.

Serves 6.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Aji De Gallina, Member meemaw101

I lived in Peru and was married to a Peruvian, and while this recipe is close I've never seen it made this way in Lima. This recipe was taught to me by my Peruvian mother-in-law, who learned it from her mother and grandmother. This is absolutely delicious and whenever I have out of town guests this is ALWAYS the meal they request! It's even better the next day. You stew and shred a whole chicken. Reserve stock. Place 2 cloves of garlic, half a jalapeno, and 2 - 3 tbsp. aji amarillo puree (if you can't get fresh aji amarillo), add a pinch of salt, and enough vegetable oil to cover, and puree until smooth. Set aside. In same un-rinsed blender place 4 - 6 cloves garlic, and about 1/2 package of saltine crackers w/can of evaporated milk. Puree until smooth. Add a piece of white bread or leftover dinner roll and puree again. Add some of the pureed pepper mixture to your taste. Add about a cup of the warm chicken stock and blend together. In clean stew pot fry a whole onion in small amount of oil. When onions are slightly clear add about 1 tsp. cumin and small amount of turmeric. (Some people use Bijol for color but the turmeric adds nice flavor.) Toast the spices with the onions, then add chicken stock to pot. When stock is heated add cracker mixture to pot and stir over medium heat. If the sauce isn't as thick as you'd like simply put some back in the blender and add more crackers, puree and add to pot until desired thickness is reached. Add shredded chicken to pot. Add 1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans. (I prefer walnuts because they are softer.) Add some more of the pureed pepper mixture to your taste if you like it spicy, reserving some for tableside so people can make their plate as spicy as they'd like. Add 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. (Fresh grated is best, but you can use the pre-grated kind if that's all you have.) Season with salt to your taste. Serve over white rice with sliced boiled egg, sliced boiled potatoes, and olives for garnish. *If it thickens too much the next day after refrigeration, simply add milk when re-heating to thin out.

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