From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Despite his surgery, the Silver Fox is back in fine fettle and it will not be necessary for us to scrap plans to travel through South America in the fall. Most of our time will be spent in Peru and I am embarrassed to admit that I know next to nothing about the food of the region. I've started to research the cuisine and I am in rudimentary stages of testing recipes that I think are typical of the area. I did a soup several weeks ago that we really enjoyed and I've been collecting recipes ever since. While it is usually spit roasted, the Peruvian chicken featured in this post is a classic entree. I first saw it on Foodspotting. It is a popular dish and always on the menu of Pio Pio, a chain of Peruvian restaurants in the New York area. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a copy of the recipe they use to prepare the chicken. I did, however, find one on Sara Moulton's website and I must tell you I'm thrilled with the results. This dish is about as easy as they come and you'll have no problems with it, if you make sure the chicken is dry when you put it into the oven to roast and you make no attempt to baste it. The end result is a wonderfully flavored chicken that has glorious color and skin so crisp it crunches when you bite into it. The green sauce, aji verde, is a must. It has some heat, but I can't imagine this dish without it. I would suggest you substitute 1 large sliced jalapeno for the serrano chile called for in the original recipe. It will tame the dragon's fire the serranos might cause. The ease with which the chicken and sauce come together, guarantees this healthy entree a spot in my recipe rotation. Please try this one. I promise you won't be sorry. Here, thanks to Sara Moulton, is the recipe. Enjoy!
Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Sara Moulton
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium, if you prefer)
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons hot paprika
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cloves garlic
8 small bone-in chicken thighs with skin (about 3 pounds)
Green Sauce (recipe follows below)
1. Combine the cilantro, soy sauce, vinegar, vegetable oil, cumin, paprika, oregano, and the desired amount of cayenne in a blender; press in the garlic (about 2 tablespoons) and puree for the marinade. Combine the marinade and the chicken in a resealable plastic bag and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning the bag once.
2. Place an oven rack on the top shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade, and pat the chicken dry. Arrange the chicken on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crispy and cooked through. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Top each portion with green sauce. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.
Green Sauce: Combine 3 large scallions, trimmed and halved, 1/4 cup sliced Serrano chile with seeds and ribs (I suggest substituting 1 large jalapeno for the Serrano chiles), 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 oz crumbled goat cheese (1/2 cup), 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 cup half-and-half in a blender and puree until smooth.
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