Ají de Gallina
This dish has been popular in Peru since colonial times. Back then the main ingredient was hen, not the chicken that is used in modern cooking.
Serves: 4Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 50 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 1 skinless chicken breast, bone-in (8 oz.)
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 6 parsley sprigs, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 slices white bread
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 1⁄2 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 Tbsp. ají amarillo paste
- 1⁄2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 cup evaporated milk
- 2 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 2 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled sliced
- 4 black olives, pitted and minced
- In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, cook the chicken breast in water with salt, pepper, 2 parsley sprigs, and bay leaf for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the water, let cool slightly, and shred the meat with two forks or with your fingers. Set chicken aside. Strain the stock, discarding the solids.
- Put the bread slices in a bowl and add 1 cup of the stock. After 7 minutes, process in a blender to make a paste. Reserve.
- In the same saucepan you used for the chicken, heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat, about 7 minutes, until the onion is very soft and almost transparent. Stir continuously and do not let them brown. Add the ají amarillo paste and dried oregano. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Incorporate the bread and 1 more cup of chicken stock into the saucepan, always stirring, for 3 more minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Add and stir in the shredded chicken, pecans, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Incorporate the evaporated milk, stir, and turn off the heat.
- Cut the cooked potatoes into thick slices and put 2 pieces on every plate. Serve ají de gallina on top of the potatoes, with white rice on the side.
- Garnish with eggs, olives, and a parsley sprig. Serve immediately.