Flavorful food is the name of the game for me and Peruvian Chicken with Spicy Green sauce is one of those dishes that is definitely in the game! This delightfully marinated chicken gets an added boost from a lovely green sauce that is spiced with chile paste and jalapeños (or other peppers). Over the past few years, Americans have become obsessed with this chicken and once you taste it you’ll definitely know why.
You can cook this by roasting it in the oven at 400 degrees F until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, but I like to take mines outside and put it on the grill if we’ve got nice weather.
There is a yummy green sauce that goes with the chicken, some say it’s the best part of the dish but I’ll let you be the judge of that. I use the leftover sauce as a salad dressing or as dip for chips. It’s just that freakin’ good!
Peruvian-Style Chicken with Spicy Green Sauce
FOR THE CHICKEN:
3 – 4 lb. whole chicken or 3 – 4 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste or another chile paste such as sriracha
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tsp honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tsp paprika
1 teaspoon ancho or chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ – ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (Taste after ¼ and add more to your liking if needed – up to ½ tsp. Remember that your soy sauce will add saltiness to the marinade as well.)
2 tbsp olive oil
FOR THE SPICY GREEN SAUCE:
1 cup cilantro leaves and thin stems (See notes)
1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded (optional) and rough chopped
¼ cup cotija or feta cheese
2 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or basil
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
½ tablespoon aji amarillo or other chile paste like Sriracha
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup good mayo (like Duke’s)
¼ cup sour cream or greek yogurt
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Lime wedges, for garnish
For the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, soy sauce, aji amarillo paste, lime juice, aji panca paste, mustard, cumin, pepper and salt.
Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin over the chicken pieces. Be careful not to tear the skin.
Spoon marinade under the skin, directly on the meat and massage in. Then spoon the marinade all over the rest of the chicken to coat completely.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours. Let rest out of the refrigerator 10 minutes before cooking.
Preheat your grill. Remove chicken from marinade.
When the grill is hot, sear the chicken lightly on both sides.
Reduce the heat from the fire or move the chicken from direct heat and let the chicken cook through until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, turning occasionally for even cooking.
When it’s done, cover loosely with foil and let rest at least 10 minutes before serving.
If Oven Roasting:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place a baking rack on top of the baking sheet.
Remove chicken from marinade. Arrange breast-side up on the rack of the prepared baking sheet.
Roast until skin is golden and chicken is cooked through, about 1hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes depending on your oven (if using chicken parts, remove the breasts after 50 minutes). Remove from the oven and let sit, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes before serving.
Preparing the Sauce:
While chicken is cooking, make the sauce. In a blender, blend cilantro, jalapeños, cotija cheese, garlic, lime juice, oregano, salt, mustard, chili paste, honey, mayo, cumin and olive oil until smooth and emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
Serve with the sauce and lime wedges on the side.
If you can’t find cotija cheese, parmesan works just as well or another good nutty flavored cheese.
If you absolutely hate cilantro, feel free to use flat leaf parsley for the sauce.
Serve with black beans and avocado-tomato salad