peruvian style chicken w. fried yuca, simple salad and even homemad aji chili sauce


i can’t always get my hands on one of my favorite meals, peruvian chicken with salad, fried yuca & that crack like aji chili sauce. so, i tired my hand at making it all myself. i am lucky and have four grocery stores with a ton of international products. so, i can get my hands on everything from aji chili paste to frozen yuca pieces. of course, i wanted to make things a little lighter than the skin on chicken or the deep fried yuca. i do however promise you, this dish won’t leave you craving the full fat version. lots of prep goes into this, so be ready… and make enough for lots of left overs.

serves 4 people

for chicken (1 to 2 days ahead of time):
1 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts, i use smart chicken… it rarely needs to be trimmed, which is a plus for me
1/3 cup cilantro, removed from stems
2 tablespoons cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons rice wine vineager
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 tablespoon lime zest
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

.in food processor combine everything besides chicken, until is becomes a paste. you want the paste to be on the thinner side, add more olive oil as you see fit
. place chicken & marinade in baggie
. rub chicken with marinade until everything is completely covered
. place in fridge & marinate for 1 to 2 days, the longer the better

for aji chili sauce:

1 cup mayo
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup aji chili paste
2 garlic cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
1 yellow or orange pepper, roasted, deseeded, peeled & roughly chopped
salt to taste

. blend everything together in food processor until smooth
. place in fridge until use, if too thin add mayo (i made this in the morning so that all of the flavors could marry & the sauce thickened up)

for fried yuca:
1 small bag frozen yuca
oil for frying (veggie, peanut etc)

. cook yuca as directed on package
. dry out on paper towels
. cut into pieces that resemble the fried yuca that you get at your favorite peruvian chicken spot (or the picture above)
. place 3/4 inch of oil in medium pan over medium high heat
. fry em up… take 6-8 pieces at a time and pan fry turning as needed until golden brown
. remove from pan onto paper towels & salt

for salad:
2 romaine hearts, washed & chopped
1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 english cucumber, deseeded & sliced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 oz queso fresco, crumbled
dressing, i use the lightest store bough italian for this

. toss lettuce & dressing together & top with veggies & cheese

for chicken (at meal time):

. preheat oven to 350
. spray pan with cooking spray & pan sear chicken on both sides over medium high heat
. place chicken on foil lined baking sheet, place in oven & cook until interior temp is 165

for the meal:

. just assemble all elements as you would like or as pictured above
. enjoy

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