TEAM Eats: Recipe for Aji de Gallina

Peruvian food recipe
If you're a fan of food that's both sweet and spicy, you'll want to try this missionary's Peruvian recipe for Aji de Gallina!

I first tried aji de gallina (hen’s chili) when we visited Peru for our vision trip in 2013. We then had this U.S. version with a Peruvian family from Oregon while we were raising support. This is an adaptation of the Peruvian meal due to the difficulty of finding aji amarillo, a medium-hot chili, in the States. (Pro tip: If you want the authentic taste, you can order jars of aji amarillo paste from Amazon or occasionally find it in a paste at a Latin foods store.)

My favorite thing about aji de gallina has to be the spicy yet sweet taste, as well as the simplicity of the meal. Plus, it usually lasts us two meals (six to seven large servings)! Most people prefer this dish sweeter than they do spicy, but I like to leave in at least half the seeds from the aji to make it a bit spicy!

To serve, plate up boiled, sliced potatoes on half the plate and a heaping pile of steamed rice on the other half. Pour the spicy chicken over the potatoes (not the rice) and top with a halved hard-boiled egg. I also enjoy a few diced tomatoes on mine, but that isn’t typical for most Peruvians. (Another pro tip: the majority of Peruvians I have seen make this meal boil the potatoes and eggs in the same pot with the rice as they cook the rice. It works amazingly well!)

Here’s the recipe as it was given to me:

1. First, you need shredded chicken meat. You can either 1) boil a whole chicken with a chopped up onion; 2) use chicken breast meat, or 3) use a store-bought, cooked chicken. They all work great.

Peruvian food recipe

2. Put 2 cups of bread pieces in 1 cup of evaporated milk. Let it sit while you do the following step.

Peruvian food recipe

3. Combine and brown:

2-3 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoons cumin (I like mine spicy so I use 1 teaspoon cumin.)

1 red onion, chopped

1 clove of mashed garlic

1 jalapeno pepper with 1 yellow bell pepper, added for color (Note: You may also use 3 tablespoons mashed hot pepper or 1 to 2 finely chopped aji peppers.)

Peruvian food recipe

4. Add in the bread-and-milk mixture and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Peruvian food recipe

Peruvian food recipe

5. Blend this mixture in a blender until smooth, adding in chicken stock as needed to thin it out.

Peruvian food recipe

6. Add the following to the blended mixture and simmer for another 15 minutes.

1 cup grated cheese (typically a queso fresco, but Colby Jack adds a wonderful flavor)

1 tablespoon peanut butter (optional, it’s common to put chopped peanuts or cashews on top, rather than mixed in)

Shredded chicken

Salt to taste (I typically use about 1/4 teaspoon.)

Additional chicken stock to thin it out if needed

Peruvian food recipe

7. Serve over potatoes (optional) with a side of rice. Sprinkle fresh, chopped parsley on top of the yellow chicken mix, along with half a boiled egg. Eat and enjoy!

Aji de Gallina Ingredients

1 whole chicken

2 cups of bread pieces

1 cup of evaporated milk

2-3 tablespoons oil

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cumin

1 red onion, chopped

1 clove of mashed garlic

1 jalapeno + 1 yellow bell pepper (Or use 3 tablespoons mashed hot pepper or 1-2 finely chopped aji peppers, depending on availability.)

1 cup grated cheese (queso fresco or Colby Jack)

1 tablespoon peanut butter

Salt, to taste

Chicken stock (as needed)

3-4 boiled potatoes (optional)

1 bag cooked rice

2-3 boiled eggs

Recipe shared by Sarah Sheets, missionary to Peru.

Once you’ve tried Sarah’s recipe, visit our Pinterest page to discover more international recipes to add to your menu!


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About the author

Sarah Sheets

Sarah is passionate about relationships and loving those God has put in her life. She and her husband, Jason, are currently serving the Lord and raising their two children on the mission field of Peru.

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