Aji De Gallina – Spicy Creamed Chicken

aji-de-gallina

This is an absolute Peruvian classic – slightly spicy and bright yellow from the famous aji amarillo peppers, and rich from the unusual cream sauce made with ground walnuts.




Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 cups Mirepoix, onion, carrot, leeks
  • Loaf, French bread
  • 2 cups  Whole milk
  • ¼ cup  Canola oil
  • 1  White onion, finely diced
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Ají Amarillo Paste (recipe p.12)
  • ¼ tsp. Cumin
  • ½ tsp.  Turmeric powder
  • ¼ cup Walnuts, lightly toasted
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 lb.  Yellow Peruvian potatoes, cooked, cut into thick round slices
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste

Garnish

  • Botija olives, quartered
  • Hard-boiled egg, quartered
  • ¼ cup Walnuts, lightly toasted, thinly sliced

Method

  1.  Poach the chicken with the bay leaves and the mirepoix until tender. Strain and reserve the broth and shred the chicken.
  2. Soak the bread in the milk and reserve.
  3. In a saucepan, make an aderezo with the oil, onion, garlic, ají amarillo paste, cumin, and turmeric. Slowly add some of the reserved stock to the aderezo, stirring to maintain a thick consistency.
  4. Transfer the soaked bread and aderezo to a blender and process until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and add a small amount of stock to ensure the sauce has a balanced texture, not too thin or thick.
  5. Keep stirring the sauce over medium-low heat and add the remaining milk, shredded chicken, walnuts, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Warm the potatoes and serve the Ají de Gallina over two slices of potatoes, garnished with Botija olives, hard-boiled eggs, and sliced walnuts.