Peruvian Spicy Creamed Chicken

May 16, 2011

Yesterday, after a long weekend, my friends and I decided to eat lunch at a local Peruvian restaurant.  My knowledge of Peruvian food is limited and I am very interested in learing about this country's food culture.  We ordered pisco sours, aji de gallina (spicy creamed chicken), and ceviche.  The aji de gallina dish intrigued me because I had never had it before.   Since I am an adventurous eater, I dived right in.  It was absolutely delicious. I would describe this dish as the Peruvian version of curry.  The aji chile peppers give the sauce a beautiful golden hue.  Personally, I prefer my food on the spicier side so I added even more aji sauce.  I was so excited about my discovery that I wanted to share it with you.  If you cannot find any fresh aji at your local Latin market, you should look for the jarred aji paste.  Also, this dish takes some time if you make your own stock to poach the chicken.  You can buy boxed but make sure it is low sodium.  This dish will transport you to the Andean mountains and make you feel out of your own world for a minute. Now please tell me…who wouldn’t want that?


Aji de Gallina



2 pounds chicken breast

1 celery, trimmed, washed and chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

1 tomato, chopped

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon peppercorns

2 bay leaves


4 slices white bread

1 cup milk

½ cup olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

2 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon yellow Aji chile, Amarillo or Chile powder

⅓ cup finely chopped or ground walnuts

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 pounds small potatoes, boiled, peeled and halved

4 hard-boiled eggs, halved

¾ cup black olives

Chopped parsley for garnish

*this dish is served with white rice


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PhillyFoodDude's picture

I spent 3 weeks in Peru last year and aji gallina was my favorite regional dish. Of course, ceviche and skewered chicken hearts were practically daily menu orders, but that aji gallina was pure comfort on a plate. Followed by my favorite Peruvian dessert suspiro, which literally means 'a sigh of relief," aji gallina always left me smiling...and fully sustained for a city hike in Lima or 2 days climbing mountains in Machu Picchu.

Where did you eat the aji gallina you spotlighted above? Thanks. Cheers.