- Onions 2
- Garlic 4 cloves
- Chicken breasts 2
- Bay leaves 2-3
- Rice 300 g
- Bread 4 slices
- Evaporated milk 500 ml
- Peruvian yellow chili peppers 4-6
- Pecans 50 g
- Parmesan cheese, grated 2 tbsp
- Eggs 3 • 130 kcal
- Vinegar a little
- medium sized potatoes 6
- black olives with stone
- Olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
This ají de gallina is a traditional and delicious Peruvian recipe, also known as a chicken chili. It is a thick, nutty cream with a spicy flavor made of shredded chicken. It is usually served with boiled potatoes, rice, hard-boiled eggs and olives.
It is best to have yellow chili, either fresh or even dried, but if you cannot find it, you can use yellow chili paste (it is usually sold in Latin food stores). Ají de gallina is a rich and tasty dish and, although it is easy to make, it is time consuming as it requires a lot of preparation, but the result is well worth it.
How to serve Ají De Gallina
The ají de gallina is a very rich recipe you should serve together with its sides. Place the rice on a side and the potatoes at the center. Pour the ají de gallina on top and garnish with some black olives and a hard-boiled egg cut in half.
– You can use the chicken broth to make a rice or soup another day.
– If you don't have Peruvian yellow chili, you can use chili paste and don't mix it with the evaporated milk.
– If you want to enhance the yellow color you can add a little turmeric with Parmesan cheese.
– If you see that it thickens too much you can add a little of the broth from cooking the chicken breasts.
– It's best to cook several breasts at the same time, freeze them and use them to finish preparing the ají de gallina.
– You can eat ají de gallina cold or put it in a sandwich.
Ají De Gallina Variations
– Adjust the amount of chili peppers according to your taste.
– To garnish you can add chopped parsley on top.
– You can also leave out some ingredients, for example, eat the ají with potatoes or rice, but not with both at the same time, as it makes the dish quite strong.
How to store Ají De Gallina
If you have ají de gallina leftovers, you can keep them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in a closed container. You can also freeze them without any problem. The hard-boiled eggs will last 5-6 days in the refrigerator, while you should not freeze the rice and potatoes because their texture may change a little (especially the potatoes), so if you want to prepare a large quantity of aji de gallina to freeze it, prepare the potatoes, the rice and the hard-boiled eggs as you are going to use them. The combination of this super complete Peruvian dish is truly delicious.
How to make Ají De Gallina
Make the chicken broth. Put the breasts in a pot with the bay leaves. Cover with water until the breasts are completely submerged, add a little salt and cover the pot. Turn the heat to high and as soon as it starts to boil, lower the heat and put it on low so that the water continues to bubble but gently.
Cook the chicken breasts for about 20 minutes. Check if it is not pink inside, then keep cooking them for a few more minutes. Remove the breasts to a plate to cool and the broth along with the vegetables.
In the meanwhile, cook the eggs, potatoes and rice. Put a saucepan with plenty of water to heat, enough so that the eggs are completely covered, and bring it to a boil. Add the salt and vinegar so that, if any eggs break in the water, the whites will set quickly and not scatter.
When the water is almost boiling, place the eggs one by one in a soup spoon and put them in the water. Cook them for 10 minutes so that they are completely set and when they are ready, remove them from the pan and let them cool.
Wash the potatoes and cook them in a pot with plenty of boiling water and a teaspoon of salt for about 25 minutes or until they are tender. You can also put them in a microwave-safe container and cook for about 10 minutes or, again, until you prick them. Wait for the potatoes to cool a little so you can peel them without burning yourself.
To cook the rice, put abundant water in a pot and a teaspoon of salt, and set to high temperature. When it is boiling, add the rice and lower the temperature so that it is soft but still bubbling and let the rice cook. Then drain the rice.
Once cool, shred the chicken with a fork or your own fingers. Peel and chop the garlic cloves and also peel and chop the onions.
Put a frying pan over medium-low heat with a little oil and, when it is hot, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the onion and salt, then cook for about 10 minutes or until the onion is tender and browned.
Cut the bread into small pieces, put it in a deep dish and pour the broth, enough to make it easy to mash it with a fork and soften it completely, leaving it as a kind of dense paste. Mix the yellow chili with the evaporated milk. Crush the walnuts in a mortar and pestle to grind them.
Add the crushed or paste chili peppers, evaporated milk, soaked bread, chicken, walnuts, salt and pepper to the pan. Mix the ingredients and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!
You can replace bay leave with some cleaned and peeled vegetables.
Toast the walnuts before crushing them (you can do it in a frying pan or in the oven).
In the pan, cook the bread already soaked for 5 minutes, before adding the rest of the ingredients.