Aji de Gallina is a delicious shredded chicken stew in a spicy and flavorful cheese sauce with ground walnuts.
This classic dish, a Peruvian national favorite, has many regional variations.
This Aji de Gallina recipe below will serve 6.
- 1 Quart Water
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 4-Pound Chicken, Quartered
- 1 Carrot Sliced
- 1 Red Onion, Sliced (Pepper Paste)
- 1/2 Cup Diced Red Onion
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Aji Amarillo, Deseeded and Deveined*
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 3 Tablespoons Corn Oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon Tumeric
- 1/4 Pound Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
- 1/2 Loaf Crustless Torn Up White Bread
- 1 Cup Evaporated Milk
- 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 6 to 8 Yellow Potatoes
- 3 Hard Boiled Eggs, Cut in Quarters
- 6 Black Olives, Cut in Half Lengthwise
- *Despite the name Aji Amarillo (yellow chile pepper), this Peruvian chile pepper is orange. Frozen or bottled peppers may be substituted.
Bring salted water to a boil. Add chicken, carrots and sliced onion.
Simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the meat is soft enough to shred easily. Remove the chicken and vegetables separately; strain the broth.
Purée the vegetables and return to the strained broth. When the chicken is cool, shred the meat with two forks and set aside.
In a food processor, blend diced red onion, garlic, ajíes amarillos and walnuts with water to form a smooth paste. Heat the oil in a small frying pan, and cook the pepper paste over low heat until golden.
Add the turmeric, chicken, Parmesan cheese and 3 cups of the reserved broth, and bring to a boil. Soak the bread pieces in the evaporated milk for a few minutes until soft, then add the mixture to the chicken sauce.
Stir over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and creamy, but still pourable. Use the remaining broth to adjust the consistency if necessary.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Boil potatoes with the skins on. When soft, peel the potatoes and slice in half lengthwise.
Arrange on plates or a platter. Pour the chicken sauce over the potaoes. Garnish with eggs and olives.