Ají de Gallina (Spanish for chilli pepper chicken) is a traditional Peruvian dish which has its roots in the social upheaval of the French Revolution in 1789,
Chefs working for wealthy families lost their jobs after French aristocrats were imprisoned and executed. Some of these chefs
traveled to the New World, including Peru, bringing with them French culinary expertise. Wealthy Peruvian creole families hired them to demonstrate their wealth to the ruling Spaniards.
The fusion of local cuisines with French cooking traditions led to many new recipes, including ají de gallina.
This is a shredded chicken dish in a spicy sauce flavored with cheese, garlic, nuts and Peruvian chilli peppers. Peruvians love eating this dish on cold days.
- 1300g (4 lb) chicken
- 120ml (½ cup) of olive oil
- 1 large finely chopped onion
- 8 cloves of minced garlic
- 3 hot yellow South American chilli(seeds removed): Adjust quantity for individual taste.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 chicken stock cube
- ¼ loaf of bread
- 110g (¼ lb) of chopped pecans
- 110g (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs) boiled rice
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 6 potatoes
- 120g (½ cup) black olives
Boil chicken in salted water together with the stock cube. Remove bones and break into bite size pieces, keeping the resulting
In a saucepan, heat oil and saute the onion, garlic, and finely chopped chilli peppers and add salt and pepper. Fry this until the onions are cooked and golden.
Soak the bread in two cups of the stock from the boiled chicken and place in a blender with onion, garlic, and chilli peppers for a couple of minutes and then add the
resulting liquid to the saucepan.
Cook slowly for ten minutes. Cook slowly, stirring to thicken.
Add the chopped pecans, grated cheese, and chicken pieces. Cook until it has a thick creamy texture.
About five minutes before serving,add the evaporated milk and continue cooking on low heat.
Serve over the boiled rice and garnish with halved potatoes, eggs quartered lengthwise, and olives.
Time:45 mins approx
The world today seems to be tearing families apart. The kids spend most of the day at school and half of what is left of the day doing homework. Calculate in ample rest, and your children are barely even yours to enjoy. Start a new tradition, and get to know your family again by incorporating a special family day into your week and together enjoy a special meal.
This is one dish my kids really enjoy!