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


Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 skinless chicken breast, bone-in (8 oz.)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 6 parsley sprigs, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 slices white bread
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ají amarillo paste
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ 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

Directions

  • 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.