From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...While it may seem a bit strange to see soy sauce used as an ingredient in a Peruvian recipe, Peru has been home to large numbers of Japanese expatriates since the late 1800s. Over the years, Asian flavors and ingredients have co-mingled with those of Peru and Europe, and the fusion has created one of the most diverse cuisines in the world. This grilled chicken entree is simple to prepare, but, with an assist from a soy marinade and an unusual sauce, it packs an enormous, though heatless, flavor punch. A long marination is not necessary and the chicken can be on the table in less than an hour. While the recipe suggests the use of an outdoor grill, I prefer to use a griddle pan and cook the chicken in my kitchen. There is a large grill sitting just outside my kitchen door, but I can't bring myself to fire it up when I'm only cooking for the two of us. I heat my grill pan, which is a ridged cast iron affair, until it is blazing hot and then effectively pretend it is an outdoor grill. The chicken cooks about 6 minutes per side and if you want grill marks, don't fiddle with it while it is in the pan. I keep my fingers crossed when I grill indoors. My fire alarms are so sensitive that I should donate them to the government to use as an early warning system at facilities housing our nuclear arsenal. Evil doers would be stopped dead in their tracks. The sauce, which is thickened with a bread crumb panade, is interesting and it comes together quickly as well. This is a really nice recipe, though I prefer it with the aji verde sauce that you can find here. I serve this with the tomato rice we made earlier in the week. I suspect those of you who try this recipe will like it. Here's how the grilled chicken and its sauce is made.
Grilled Peruvian Chicken with Chili and Walnut Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Cuisine at Home
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed (6-8 oz each)
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon annatto powder or paprika
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon ground walnuts
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1) To make marinade: Combine soy sauce, lime juice, cumin, oil, oregano, and chili powder in a large bowl or plastic bag. Add chicken. Marinate in refrigerator while preparing sauce.
2) To make sauce. Soak bread crumbs in milk in a bowl. Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add onion and garlic to pan and saute for 3 minutes. Stir in cumin, chili powder, and annatto and saute for 30 seconds longer. Add broth and bread crumbs and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat. Stir in lime juice, Parmesan, and 1 ground walnuts. Keep mixture warm.
4) Remove chicken from marinade. Discard marinade. Grill chicken covered, over direct heat, 6 minutes on each side or until chicken reaches 160 degrees. Serve chicken with rice and sauce, garnishing with walnuts and cilantro. Yield: 4 servings.
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