Aji de Gallina
Actually, I haven’t tried this dish in real life and what I posted here is just based on research after I got interested on it when Jodie Sta Maria posted a video of this dish when she travelled to Peru and highly recommended it. While Peru is on my wish list to visit, I reckon it will not be in the next couple of years so I decided to make them at home to get an idea of how Peruvian cuisine would taste like.
Aji de Gallina is a type of stew where chicken is cooked together with yellow chili peppers, walnuts, spices, garlic, and turmeric then served with boiled eggs, black olives and rice. It was believed to have been introduced in 16th century Peru by African slaves brought to Peru by the Spanish where it uses leftover chicken and potatoes. It has an interesting flavour that I think is easily likeable, it looks like a curry, but it does not taste like one, its lightly spicy and very creamy. And yes, like what Jodie said, I highly recommend this dish.
- 700 g pre boiled chicken meat (preferably thigh meat), flaked
- 2 pcs medium potatoes
- 1 large yellow capsicum, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp walnuts, chopped
- 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups chicken stock, from boiling chicken
- 1 birds eye chilli
- 4 slices white bread, edges removed
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- hard-boiled eggs, to garnish
- black olives, to garnish
- Boil potatoes in 3 cups of water and 2 tbsp salt until tender. Let it cool and cut in quarters. Set it aside.
- In a large bowl soak bread in evaporated milk, set it aside.
- In a blender puree together yellow capsicum, birds eye chilli and 2 tbsp oil until smooth. Remove from blender then set it aside.
- In a large pan add oil then sauté garlic and onions, cook until onions are soft.
- Pour the pureed capsicum then continue to cook for 2 minutes in low heat.
- In the same blender combine evaporated milk and bread mixture, add the nuts, Parmesan cheese and sautéed capsicum and onions. Puree until smooth. Set it aside.
- Return the pureed mixture into the pan then add the chicken stock, bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes in medium heat.
- Add the flaked chicken and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add water if the sauce is too thick for your preference.
- Season with salt then serve with rice, garnished with the yellow potatoes, hard-boiled egg and black olives.