This is potentially a three-part recipe, but I hope that doesn’t scare you off from making it! First, you will marinate the chicken overnight. Then, depending on whether you are able to obtain aji amarillo paste, you may have to make your own. That recipe is also included here. Finally, you will make a very simple yogurt sauce to accompany the chicken. So although the recipe looks long, it’s pretty simple to execute.
Peru’s iconic peppers, aji amarillo, which are used in just about everything, can be difficult to find depending on where you live. In Latin markets you may find them frozen, in jars as a paste, or perhaps dried – rarely fresh though. You should also check the spice section, where I’ve found aji amarillo chile powder (at Whole Foods). Amazon is always a source if you plan ahead. If all else fails, you can try substituting 1 orange bell pepper and ½ of a habanero pepper. (Sauté the peppers together and blend to make a paste.) Or use your favorite hot sauce in place of anything calling for the aji amarillo paste.
4 tbsp. purchased aji amarillo or aji panca paste (or see recipe below)
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 tbsp. minced rosemary
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup oil
8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on (about 3 lb.)
Put all ingredients into a large bowl and marinate overnight, or at least four hours.
Cook the chicken as desired, either on your grill, or baked in the oven until done. Serve with Yogurt-Chile Sauce (recipe below).
Makes about 1 ¼ cups
½ cup yogurt
½ cup buttermilk or mayonnaise
2 green onions, chopped fine
1 tbsp. aji amarillo paste
1 tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ to 1 tsp. kosher salt
Blend ingredients together and refrigerate about an hour before serving to thicken. Serve with the chicken.
Notes and Instructions
Recipe and photo credit: Linda McElroy
Adapted from “The Fire of Peru,” by Ricardo Zarate and Jenn Garbee