Quick recipe finder Aji de gallina
A popular Peruvian dish of chicken in a mildly spicy creamy sauce thickened with breadcrumbs and ground nuts. Serve with rice and/or boiled potatoes.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 200ml whole milk
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large mild green chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 35g ground walnuts
- 20g grated parmesan
Place the chicken in a saucepan, add just enough boiling water to cover, then bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until opaque and cooked through. Remove from the water and set aside on a plate to cool, reserve the cooking liquor. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken.
Meanwhile, soak the breadcrumbs in the milk.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the onion for 7-8 minutes, or until softened and golden. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for a further minute until fragrant. Stir in the paprika, turmeric and seasoning and fry for a minute, adding a little more oil if the mixture looks dry.
Add the shredded chicken and stir to coat in the spices for a minute, then pour in the soaked breadcrumbs and milk. Add 200ml of the reserved stock, bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer gently for five minutes. Stir in the nuts and simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until the sauce is rich and creamy, adding a little more stock if it gets too thick.
Stir in the parmesan, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
This dish should be mild and creamy, with just a gentle heat from the chilli and paprika. If you’re able to find Peruvian aji amarillow paste, made from yellow chillies, then use 1-2 teaspoons of this in place of the green chilli, paprika and turmeric.
You can also use chicken legs or thighs; for extra flavour cook them on the bone. You’ll need to simmer them in stage one for 20-30 minutes, or until no trace of pinks juices run when pierced with a skewer at the thickest part. Some cooks like to add a chopped carrot and celery stick to the pan with the chicken to add flavour.