I’ve never been to a Peruvian restaurant or eaten authentic Peruvian food, but when I was sharing some Cuban inspired recipes last year, someone recommended that I try my best at Peruvian food. So that’s exactly what I did. I started with the first recipe that caught my eye, Lomo Saltado. It’s pretty much beef stir fry loaded onto fries. How can you go wrong with that? But since then, I haven’t tried anything else out! So I started doing a little research to find other Peruvian recipes that I should try out and this one caught my eye. Because it just looks like a curry or creamy chicken salad. But when I found out what was loaded into it, I knew this might be a little more challenging than my last Peruvian inspired recipe.
First off, many recipes out there use white bread, evaporated milk and parmesan cheese. They also use some sort of nut like walnuts or pecans then it’s served up with potatoes, eggs, and often olives. HOLY SHART. Talk about rich. So when I look at this I see:
- white bread: hell no.
- evaporated milk: we can do better than that.
- cheese: don’t need it.
- walnuts: don’t want it.
- olives: forgot them at the store. shame.
Even though this may not be EXACTLY like the real authentic Ají de Gallina, I still thought it was absolutely delicious! Wait, I did one other thing that wasn’t super authentic…because I’m lazy. I used ají amarillo paste instead of making my own, but I just wasn’t in the mood to go on the hunt for ají peppers, again, because I’m lazy. So you can be lazy too, just snag this on Amazon!
A few things to keep in mind about this recipe is it’s good to plan ahead because it takes a couple steps. If you can boil and shred the chicken ahead of time and also boil, cool and peel the eggs ahead of time, you will cut out a ton of extra time later on. So just plan ahead, ok? I don’t want you to be annoyed with the many different steps and therefore be annoyed with me. Only positive vibes around here, please!
Speaking of positive, I’m officially ready for fall! I’ve decided that since my husband will now be engulfed with football on Sundays, I will now take up working out, brunch then working on Sundays, maybe a little shopping since the mall will be cleared out from all the hooligans who like 6 hours games with 427 commercial interruptions. So fun. Even if I can’t find any friends to go to brunch with, I will go alone! I have tried to like football for probably 13 years and I still hate it with all my being, so eating and shopping will make up for the fact that my husband and friends are all occupied on Sundays now. YAY! Sundays are looking up!
- 4 eggs, boiled and peeled, sliced*
- 1 pound chicken breasts, boiled and shredded*
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- ½ yellow onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 (14 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons ají amarillo paste
- pinch of salt
- pinch of black pepper
- ¼ cup mayo
- fresh cilantro, to garnish
- other garnishes: rice or cauliflower rice, olives, or walnuts
- Boil eggs the Ina Garten way: Place the eggs in a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Bring the water to a boil and immediately turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove the eggs to a bowl and allow to rest for at least 2 minutes. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, crack the eggs on each side and then roll them back and forth with your hand, breaking up the shell. Remove and discard the shell. Place in fridge to cool.
- Boil chicken - place chicken in a saucepan and cover chicken with water. Place lid on saucepan and place over medium heat to cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken easy shreds apart, about 165-170 degree internal temperature. Shred chicken with two forks and set aside for later.
- Rinse out saucepan and place peeled potatoes in the pan and cover with water. Place lid on saucepan and place back over medium heat to cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
- Place a large saute pan over medium heat. Add ghee to the pan along with onion and garlic. Cook until onion becomes translucent, about 2 minutes, then add the turmeric and cumin and mix until spices become fragrant.
- Add coconut milk along with the ají paste and a pinch of salt and black pepper and whisk together until completely combine. Let simmer and reduce for about 10 minutes. It should reduce by about ⅓, remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Add the mixture to a high speed blender then add in the mayo and blend for about 30 seconds, until smooth.
- Pour mixture back into the saute pan over medium heat then add in the shredded chicken and mix to combine and let simmer for about 3 more minutes to heat through.
- Serve the chicken with fresh cilantro on top and sliced eggs and potatoes on the side. I also listed other sides that go great with this dish! Feel free to play around with it yourself!
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