peruvian chicken with aji verde – pollo a la brasa

Peruvian chicken is good stuff. Seriously good stuff. And when you match it up with that crazy Peruvian green sauce you have a winner. Pollo a la brasa.

I love a good roast chicken. It’s one of my favourite dishes. Just simple roast chicken seasoned with salt and pepper and maybe a couple sprigs in the cavity. Served up with a drizzle of a good pan sauce. Yum.

It’s my comfort food. A well executed roast chicken is a fantastic, understated, magical thing. But sometimes you want something a little less subtle.

Peruvian chicken with magic green sauce - pollo a la brasa - is a fantastic way to roast a chicken,

Peruvian chicken is not understated. Not subtle. Not delicate. This is hit you over the head delicious. Big tastes. Bold spice. Loaded with flavour. Drizzle a little magic green sauce on it and it’s just wow food.

Not flashy wow. Not – “Wow. That is incredibly beautiful fancy food”. More like “Wow – that is just crazy delicious”. It’s earthy. Comfort food.

Simple honest cooking. Food for friends and family. Satisfying. Food you will want to eat again and again.


Watch how to make Peruvian chicken


Aji verde – magic green sauce

The green sauce that goes with Peruvian chicken is called aji verde. Sounds exotic. But it’s just dressed mayonnaise. Really dressed up maybe but still basically mayo.

Aji verde is a snap to make. Toss some stuff in a blender. Whiz. Done. Just as easy as that. So don’t leave it out. Make it. A little goes a long way.

And aji verde drizzled Peruvian chicken sandwiches are epic. It’s worth making this just for the sandwiches.


Peruvian chicken on a cutting board from above.



Aji amarillo – the other aji in Peruvian chicken

Aji means chili pepper in Spanish. So aji verde means green chili. Or green chili sauce I guess. I don’t speak Spanish so the subtleties are lost on me. Probably doesn’t matter.

What matters is aji amarillo. That’s the secret ingredient here. Aji amarillo is a Peruvian yellow chili. One that nobody knows about. It’s time to find out. 

Think about the wonderful fruity, complex flavour of habanero. Now imagine you could have all that flavour without the heat. That’s aji amarillo.

It’s pretty much impossible to find the fresh chili peppers. Lucky for us Peru exports aji amarillo paste. Just about any decent latin grocery will stock it.

It’s so worth seeking it out. I go looking for reasons to use it. And if you can’t find it in town there’s always Amazon. Without it, this is just another roast chicken. Get your hands on some. You won’t regret it.



Aji verde in a pottery bowl.


Peruvian chicken – pollo a la brasa

Peruvian chicken is best on a rotisserie. A rotisserie over charcoal. Do that and it’s a whole different level of wow.

But most people don’t do the rotisserie thing. Too bad. So the chicken here is roasted. Still really tasty. Still totally worth making. Easier too.

Roasting is not the same as rotisserie. That’s obvious, you say. I know. But it makes a difference here.

There’s no fresh garlic in this recipe. That’s because fresh crushed garlic can burn. Or get really, really dark. Not so good. Granulated garlic doesn’t have the same problem.

Fresh garlic isn’t a problem with a rotisserie. Stuff falls off when you use a rotisserie. So it can’t burn.


Peruvian chicken drumstick dipped in aji verde.



Use garlic or granulated garlic when you use your rotisserie. Either works. But use granulated garlic when you roast. It does make a difference.

Granulated garlic is not 100% authentic. But not grilling over charcoal isn’t really authentic either. So I can still sleep at night.

Doesn’t really matter though. What matters is this is some delicious chicken.

And aji amarillo is the star here anyway. Seriously. Anyone who tells you “This is Peruvian chicken but don’t worry if you can’t get aji amarillo, just use a green chili” is probably telling you how to make tasty chicken. But they aren’t sharing a pollo a la brasa recipe.

Peruvian chicken with aji verde. Pollo a la brasa. As far as I can tell that’s Spanish for crazy tasty chicken.


Peruvian chicken black cast iron.


Peruvian chicken with aji amarillo dipping sauce
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4.87 from 15 votes

peruvian chicken - pollo a la brasa

Peruvian chicken or pollo a la brasa is one of the world's great roast chicken dinners.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Peruvian
Keyword peruvian chicken, pollo a la brasa
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Marinating time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 378kcal
Author romain | glebekitchen



  • 2 tbsp aji amarillo paste - Peruvian chili paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil
  • enough water to form a smooth paste

Aji Verde - Peruvian green dipping sauce

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves - stems are OK mixed in here
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Aji amarillo paste
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Peruvian chicken - pollo a la brasa

  • 1 3-4 lb chicken
  • the marinade
  • Aji verde, cilantro and lime to serve


  • Combine all the marinade ingredients. Stir to combine.
  • Combine the Aji Verde ingredients in a blender or food processor. If blending, put the liquid ingredients in the first. Layer in the jalapeño, garlic and cilantro last. Blend to combine. Set aside.

Peruvian chicken

  • Spatchcock the chicken. That's not a big deal. Just cut out the backbone (that's the part opposite the breasts). Open up the bird on a cutting board and push down hard on the breast. Easy. Check out the video to see what it looks like.
  • Coat the chicken well with the marinade. You should have lots. Get some on the inside surface as well. Refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour. You can go up to 12 hours. 
  • Pre-heat your oven to 350F. I know I usually suggest higher but in the case the chicken will get too brown.
  • Place the chicken on a baking sheet or large skillet and roast until the thigh reaches an internal temperature of 175F. This takes 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes.
  • Optionally there is a lot of goodness in the bottom of your baking dish. You can spoon off the fat and deglaze with a little chicken stock. To deglaze heat up the pan and add the stock. Stir to get the brown bits to dissolve. This makes a nice little pan sauce. Adds a nice extra flavour boost for a change.
  • To serve, carve the chicken up into pieces. Split each breast half in half again (so you have 4 pieces). Cut off the wings. Split the thighs from the drumsticks. Serve with a drizzle of aji verde and pass the extra along side.


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 1019mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1200IU | Vitamin C: 7.5mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.7mg

18 thoughts on “peruvian chicken with aji verde – pollo a la brasa”

    • I don’t know. I’ve never tried freezing raw, marinated chicken. I don’t usually freeze poultry at all as I find the texture suffers more than I would like.

  1. 5 stars
    Just tried this out and it was delicious! I’ve never roasted a chicken before and had low expectations for how it was going to turn out given my lack of experience, but this was absolute perfection! I made it exactly as directed.

    The aji verde sauce was also amazing, but I did modify it a bit. My dad is Peruvian so I grew up watching him make huancaina sauce. I don’t know if this is Peruvian tradition or just his tradition, but he always added some sort of cheese to his sauces. I did the same here. As written, I found the aji verde to be very tangy/acidic (I must have added too much lime) and the cheese helped reduce that. I used manchego, but would have also opted for feta or queso fresco if I had it on hand (which is what my dad has always used).

  2. 5 stars
    This is such an awesome recipe. I’ve made it so many times – the first time I went with the whole chicken, but lately have been using a 8-pack of bone-in thighs. I just put them all into a gallon plastic bag for 4-5 hours.

    One thing though – I’m so happy you included the Optional portion to deglaze the pan because quite frankly that is the best part. It’s never optional for me.

    We also substituted Vegenaise (we had no mayo last time) and it worked great. Not intuitive as why on earth would you use a vegan substitute but I had no choice.

    Thanks again for posting this. Such a wonderful recipe.

    • I am super happy that you like it so much. You are so welcome! I can’t leave any fond in a pan either. I deglaze everything. Must have the sauce…

    • I have never tried but I’m going to guess they would be off the scale delicious. A couple chilies in the aji verde and maybe one more in the marinade. Yum! I’ve seen the chilies in my latin market. I’m going to get some ASAP.

  3. Best chicken I have ever had! Move over NYTimes Cooking…. Glebekitchen is my new Goto for recipes. I’d love to learn more about this website. Who are you?

    • Wow. That is high praise. Thank you.

      I keep meaning to write an about glebe kitchen. I started it to try to show people that you can make food that is as good or better than restaurant and you can do it at home. It’s meant to be about the reader and food. Not about me.

      Cooking is a life-long passion for me. First learned to cook watching PBS too many years ago.

      I’m Canadian. In the real world I work at a software company which is great because I get to travel and learn about food in the evenings. I love to cook, eat, write and take pictures so this blog is the perfect hobby for me.

  4. 5 stars
    Just finished licking my plate after cooking this. Best. Chicken. Ever. I misread the recipe and left the chicken slathered in marinade in the fridge for 20 hours, but it still turned out amazing. Served it with a chayote gratin – double amazing. Will definitely make this again and again!

    • Licking your plate is a sure sign that you liked it:-). Good to know that a 20 hour marinade works out. Thanks for sharing that!

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