Peruvian chicken (Pollo a la Brasa) is a rotisserie-style chicken dish that originated in Peru during the 1950s. There is no argument that this famous South American chicken garnered global appeal, and rightfully so–it is absolutely delicious. Typically, this chicken is topped with a green sauce and served alongside rice and vegetables, but you can pair it with any preferred sauce and sides.
What you’ll need to make Peruvian chicken:
Equipment: You will need a grill with an appropriate rotisserie attachment.
Kitchen Twine and Drip Pan: You will need to truss the chicken, and a good strong kitchen twine will do the job! It’s a good idea to use a disposable aluminum drip pan to collect the drippings. Doing this will make clean up a breeze.
Chicken: You’ll need a whole 3-3 1/2 pound chicken for this Peruvian chicken recipe. Remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity of the chicken before threading it onto the rotisserie rod. This recipe requires a marinating time of 12-24 hours, so that means prepping the chicken the day before. Do not marinate longer than 24 hours.
Aji Panca and Aji Amarillo: Both of these pastes are available through local grocery chains, specialty markets, and online retailers.
Herbs and Spices: The remaining ingredients for this Peruvian chicken recipe are easy to come by, and most of them are already in your pantry or spice rack.
Heat Resistant Gloves: When working with large items like smoked roasts or rotisserie meats, it’s always a good idea to have heat-resistant gloves nearby. You will need them to remove the rotisserie rod from the grill.
Toppings are an important addition to Peruvian chicken. As mentioned above, aji verde is the go-to sauce for this recipe. It’s easy to make and so delicious!
Aji Verde sauce for Peruvian Chicken
- 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 3/4 cups chopped cilantro
- 4 medium green onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
- a few pinches of salt and black pepper
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender, and combine until the mixture smooth and well combined. Transfer sauce to an airtight container and place it into the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving. Store for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Serving Peruvian Chicken:
Serve this chicken for lunch or dinner, for special occasions, or casual weeknight meals. Carve the chicken into individual pieces and place onto a serving platter along with a bowl of the aji verde sauce, and your favorite side dishes.
- 1 whole chicken about 3 pounds
- ½ cup cilantro garnish
- kitchen twine for trussing
- 1 large onion
- 1 aluminum drip pan
- For marinade:
- Juice of 2 limes
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste
- 1 tablespoon aji panca paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper adjust to your liking
- Combine marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Place the whole chicken onto a large cutting board. Trim any excess fat or hanging skin that might otherwise cause flare-up on the grill. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and apply marinade all over. Make sure to get under the skin of the breast.
- Set chicken into a sealable container (large bowl with plastic wrap, freezer bag, or plastic container with a lid). Place into the refrigerator to marinate for 12-24 hours.
- Preheat grill for medium-high heat, indirect cooking.
- Remove chicken from the refrigerator and truss with kitchen twine.
- Cut a hole into the onion using a paring knife. Doing so will help guide the rotisserie rod through. Slide onion onto the rod and insert into the chicken cavity. Run the rod through and secure rotisserie forks.
- Place chicken on the grill. Fill a drip pan with one cup of water and set it under the chicken. Cook for 70-90 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180 in thigh meat and 165-170 in the breast.
- Once cooked through, use heat-resistant gloves to remove the chicken with the rotisserie rod still intact. Place onto a clean cutting board—loosely tent chicken with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. Discard drip pan.
- Remove the rod and cut away the kitchen twine. Carve chicken and arrange it onto a serving platter. Spritz with a bit of fresh lime juice, and top with cilantro before serving. Enjoy!
Look for one or both in the Latin American section of your local supermarket, or local specialty markets. They are also readily available online. Alternative cooking methods:- Don’t own a grill or have access to a rotisserie unit? -Bake this chicken in the oven at 375 degrees F., for 70-90 minutes. See the above instructions for doneness temps. -Indoor rotisserie unit. Follow prep instructions above, but follow manufacturers guide for rotisserie chicken temperature settings, times, and set up.