What a great weekend, filled with sun, cooking, and bowling. The weather is starting to really get warm around here and I love it. Last Friday we had a gringo birthday party at a bowling alley, which was really fun, and then I spent the rest of the weekend soaking up the rays and making food. Classic.
Feeling happy about the weather got me in the mood to try this Peruvian dish that I adore: Aji de Gallina.
It’s a bit high maintenance, but this recipe is SUPER RICO. Drool worthy. The creamy, spicy, savory sauce and shredded chicken is comfort food at it’s best. Seriously, make this. Impress all your friends.
Aji de Gallina
2-3 peeled, boiled and sliced potatoes
3-4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/4 sliced black kalamata olives
3 chicken breasts
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stocks, diced
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 can of condensed milk
6 slices of white sandwich bread
4 aji amarillo (orange peruvian peppers, they can be canned, in a paste, raw, whatever)
1/4 cup of walnuts, ground
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 cup of oil
I see this dish as a two part process. I reccomend you do the first part in the morning or the evening before. It you do it all at once it can be tiresome.
PART I: boil the eggs, and set aside in ice water. Boil the potatoes (not too soft!) and put in the fridge. Next, add the celery, carrot, and one onion to a big, deep pot with the chicken breasts and one bouillon cube. Add 4-6 cups of water and boil until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside. Save the stock and veggies.
Shred the chicken and set aside.
The next step is to make the sauce. To make the sauce soak 6 slices of bread in the condensed milk. Add the soggy bread into a blender with a clove of garlic, one bouillon cube, the carrots and celery from the stock, and the aji. [My aji was raw, so I sauteed it first in a pan to get it soft. You can also buy pickled aji amarillo, or use aji amarillo paste. All fine.] Blend until smooth. If it is still very liquid, add 3 more slices of bread.
Heat up a large, deep sautee pan or pot with 1/4 cup of oil. Add the remaining chopped onion, and two gloves of garlic, minced. Once the onion is translucent, add the sauce. Stir for 5 minutes, then add the chicken. Be careful to turn the heat down because the milk in the dish can burn easily. Stir until well mixed and thick. Next, add the chopped walnut, and finally the parmesan.
Serve hot with white rice, a sliced hard boiled egg, two olives, and sliced boiled potatoes.
It would also be lovely with a nice, thin sliced cucumber salad with vinegar and sugar. I didn’t add that, but next time I will.
For dessert, I sliced up a lovely pineapple I bought at the market. The pineapple was perfect!! I watched this video which explained how to tell if a pineapple is ripe and how to cut it.
YUM. Hope everyone is having a good week!