The New York Times recently had a recipe for Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Spicy Cilantro Sauce. We love chimichurri sauce, which hails from Argentina, but I’d never heard of this Peruvian spicy green sauce so I had to try it.
The original recipe called for two Peruvian chile pastes, which I didn’t have access to. I used their suggested substitutes, sambal oelek (or sriracha) for the aji amarillo paste and ordinary chile powder (or ground pasilla chile powder) for the aji panca powder. From what I read, it’s also traditional to marinate and cook chicken halves for this, but I used bone-in skin-on chicken thighs.
The marinade and the spicy green sauce are fantastic! I used the lower end of the suggested amount of jalapenos in the green sauce but next time I will use the upper end because it was not too spicy for us.
I served this with roasted sliced sweet potatoes, which also taste wonderful with the spicy green sauce on them, roast cauliflower and a green salad.
Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Spicy Green Sauce
For the Chicken
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces
- 6 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 3 Tbs soy sauce
- 1 Tbs sambal oelek or sriracha or aji amarillo paste
- 1 Tbs lime juice
- 1 tsp chile powder (or aji panca paste)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- olive oil to drizzle
For the Spicy Green Sauce
- 1 cup cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
- 3-4 jalapenos, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup sour cream or crumbled feta cheese
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 Tbs lime juice
- 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano or basil
- 1 1/2 tsp sambal oelek (or sriracha or aji amarillo)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- lime wedges for serving
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Put the chicken pieces in a zip-lock bag or large bowl and pour the marinade over, making sure the chicken is coated.
- Marinade the chicken at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
- Heat the oven to 450 F.
- Wipe the excess marinade off the chicken with paper towels and put the chicken pieces skin-side up on a baking sheet or dish. Drizzle with oil and bake 35-45 minutes, until cooked through. (If you’re using breasts, they’ll get done quicker and can be removed after 25-35 minutes.)
- While the chicken is roasting, make the spicy green sauce by blending all the ingredients except the oil together in a food processor or blender. Slowly add the oil and mix until emulsified. Taste and add more salt and/or lime juice.
- When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes, loosely covered with foil.
- Serve with the sauce and lime wedges.