Ají de Gallina – Peruvian Chicken Curry
"Growing up in Peru is definitely a treat for the tastebuds! Although I now live in Britain, I cook Peruvian food at home to this day and this is one of my absolute favourite recipes. Aji de gallina is Peru’s answer to the chicken korma; a delicately spiced but lusciously creamy and comforting chicken curry that will cheer up the greyest of days."
- Prep: 30 minutes
- Cook: 1 hour
- Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Recipe serves: 6
- 4 Chicken breasts
- 2 Peruvian yellow chilli peppers (aji amarillo) or two tbsp of Peruvian yellow pepper sauce*
- 1 Large white onion
- 2 Garlic cloves
- Handful of Brazil nuts
- 1 tbsp sunflower/vegetable oil
- 5 Medium-sized waxy potatoes (optional)
- 8 Lettuce leaves
- 5 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Can of evaporated milk
- 12 Pitted black olives
- 1 Loaf of white bread
- 6 Eggs
- Boiled white rice to serve
- 1 Onion, quatered
- 2 Garlic cloves, whole
- 1 Celery stick, chopped
- 2 Bay leaves
- 6 Pepper corns
- 2 Pinches of salt
- Add the ingredients for your stock to a pan of hot water. When the water is almost at boiling point add the whole chicken breast and turn the heat down to a simmer. Poach the chicken breasts for 30 minutes or until tender and cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Chop the yellow chilli peppers into small chunks and add to a blender. Little by little add 3 ladles of the chicken stock. Liquidise until you have a smooth and runny yellow sauce.
- In a separate bowl crumble half of the white bread (do not include the crusts). Add 2/3 of the evaporated milk and allow to soak.
- Now add the chopped Brazil nuts, parmesan cheese and the bread and milk mix to the yellow sauce and blend.
- Peel and chop the potatoes and add to a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil and gently simmer until they are cooked but still firm. Set aside and keep warm.
- Finely chop the onion and fry gently in a large heavy-based saucepan until the onions are translucent. Finely chop the garlic and gently fry with the onions.
- Now add the yellow sauce from the blender into the saucepan with the onions, garlic and nuts; stir. Shred the chicken breasts and add to the sauce. Taste and season with salt, ground black pepper and perhaps more aji amarillo paste if you want to give it more of a kick. Meanwhile, cook the rice.
- Hard-boil the eggs. Allow to cool, remove shell and halve.
- Now assemble your plates, with the chicken sauce over the potatoes, and the hard-boiled eggs, lettuce leaves and olives to decorate. Buen provecho!
*You can buy aji amarillo in the UK - we recommend Devon Chilli Farm for the peppers or Rico Picante for the sauce.
Tip: this dish tastes even better the following day so it’s worth preparing in advance.