Easy Peruvian Chicken Recipe

This easy Peruvian chicken recipe is an adaptation of rotisserie chicken, one of the country's signature dishes consisting of chicken coated in a tangy mix of spices served with a spicy green herb and lime sauce.

Peruvian chicken, also called pollo a la brasa or blackened chicken, is known for its crunchy skin that's seasoned with a sweet and spicy marinade and cooked until it is darkened. It is often served with ají verde, a tangy green sauce made up of a mix of Peruvian peppers, limes, and cilantro. The dish was actually developed in the 1950s by an entrepreneurial Peruvian chicken farmer who wanted to create more demand for his product (via Brand Peru).

However, according to food blogger Ksenia Prints of the international recipe blog At the Immigrant's Table, doing this regional dish justice can be difficult in the Northern hemisphere. First, you need a rotisserie set up to cook the chicken evenly on all sides. Second, you need the time to cook a whole chicken. Finally, to make traditional ají verde, you need ají amarillo (yellow chili peppers), huacatay (black mint), and Peruvian cheese.

In our carefully adapted version of the dish, we use local North American ingredients to approximate the flavor and texture of the real thing. We also prefer to cook bone-in chicken thighs, though you can use whole chicken legs or drumsticks. This easy chicken recipe is a delectable weeknight meal that will leave you craving its delicious flavors and crunchy consistency.

Gather the ingredients for this easy Peruvian chicken recipe

All the ingredients for this easy Peruvian chicken are North American products that are easy to find in a standard grocery store. You will need bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (though you can also use whole chicken legs or drumsticks). For the marinade, grab some limes, cumin powder, smoked paprika, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

As for the green sauce to serve along with the chicken, you will need fresh cilantro, a jalapeño pepper, green onions, garlic cloves, and mayonnaise.

Make the chicken marinade

Start by preheating the oven to 425 F and covering a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silicone mat. Next, grab a large bowl and combine the juice of one lime with cumin powder, smoked paprika, honey, olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.

Add the chicken thighs and toss them in the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer the chicken to the fridge to marinate until it's time to cook. You'll want to leave it in for at least 30 minutes, though the longer the chicken marinates, the more flavorful it will be.

Bake the chicken

Transfer the chicken thighs to the prepared baking sheet and brush them with the marinade. Your oven should be at temperature by now, so cook the chicken for 30 minutes. You'll know it's ready when the outside is brown and crispy and the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165 F.

Prep the vegetables and make the sauce

Next, prep the vegetables for the sauce: Mince the garlic, zest the remaining lime, and roughly slice the cilantro, including the stems — that's where all the flavor is hiding. Finally, roughly cut the green onions and the jalapeño.

Transfer all the ingredients as well as the mayonnaise into a blender or a bowl big enough for an immersion blender. Blend the contents, adding a little water if the sauce is too thick — you should be able to spoon it onto the chicken. Taste the sauce and season it with ¼ teaspoon of salt and a ¼ teaspoon of pepper.

Serve Easy Peruvian Chicken

This easy Peruvian chicken dish should be ready to pull out of the oven after 30 minutes. Don't worry if it looks black; the unofficial name of the dish in Peru is blackened chicken!

Serve this delicious chicken dish with green dipping sauce and rice, or plantain chips.

Easy Peruvian Chicken Recipe
5 from 18 ratings
This easy Peruvian chicken recipe brings the taste of Latin America to your kitchen. Enjoy this savory dish as a quick weeknight dinner packed with flavor.
Prep Time
40
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
2
servings
Peruvian chicken, rice, and sauce
Total time: 70 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 limes, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silicone mat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the juice of 1 lime, cumin powder, smoked paprika, honey, olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
  3. Add the chicken thighs and coat well in the marinade, then transfer them to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mince the garlic, zest the remaining lime, and roughly slice the cilantro, green onions, and jalapeño.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs onto a baking sheet and brush them with the marinade.
  6. Transfer the chicken to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, until it is brown and crispy on the outside with an internal temperature of 165 F.
  7. In a blender or using an immersion blender, make a sauce with the cilantro leaves and stems, garlic cloves, green onions, lime zest, juice of 1 lime, diced jalapeño, and mayonnaise. Add a little water if the sauce is too thick.
  8. Taste and season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
  9. Serve this easy Peruvian chicken dish with dipping sauce and rice, or plantain chips.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 808
Total Fat 68.4 g
Saturated Fat 14.0 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 200.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 17.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Total Sugars 7.8 g
Sodium 793.8 mg
Protein 33.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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