Prep 40 mins
Cook 2 hrs 10 mins
A shredded chicken and potato stew in a spicy, velvety chile pepper sauce prepared with cheese, garlic, and nuts with an extra zing from the orange juice and lime juice. Great for cold, winter days. The recipe originally came from a cookbook that I picked up at the library. I can't remember the name of the book, but from what I remember the chef traveled extensively in South America, trying traditional dishes and then created his own modern, upscale versions for his restaurant, keeping the best elements from the traditional versions. I also made some minor changes to better suit my family's tastes. Update: I have changed the name of this recipe from Ají De Gallina (Peruvian Chicken & Chile Pepper Stew) which was the name given to the original recipe that I adapted here, because people kept posting negative ratings that seemed based exclusively (or nearly so) on this dish's lack of authenticity rather than on the quality of the dish, even after I posted in the intro that the dish was indeed not traditional. I hope under the new name people will be more willing to enjoy it for what it is, rather than getting so wrapped up in where the recipe comes from. Cheers.
- 1 large whole chicken (about 3 lbs)
- 1 onion, cut into large dice (about 1 cup)
- 2 small carrots, peeled & cut crosswise into 2-inch slices
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh dill
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 3 bay leaves
- 1⁄2 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 quarts water
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1⁄4 cup lime juice
- 5 marisol chilies
- 1⁄2 cup sweet butter
- 3 -4 onions, diced (about 4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (1 teaspoon)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 slices white bread
- 1 (12 1/2 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 10 small new potatoes, boiled until tender
- 3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced (to garnish)
- In a large stockpot, bring the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, dill, parsley, bay, peppercorns, cayenne pepper, salt, and water to a boil.
- Decrease heat to low and simmer until the chicken is tender (50 minutes).
- Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool.
- Let stock continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, then strain into a clean stockpot and set aside.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken (removing any meat clinging to the bones).
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the orange juice and lime juice.
- Break the chiles into pieces and soak in the juice mixture for 20 minutes.
- Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth; set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter, then sauté the onions with the turmeric until the onions are soft and translucent (8 minutes).
- Add the garlic and cumin and sauté for another minute.
- Soak the bread in the evaporated milk.
- Add the blended chile mixture to the skillet and cook until the liquid cooks off (10 minutes).
- Skim off any fat that may have risen to the surface on the cooling stock.
- Add the soaked bread to the skillet (discarding the milk) and cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Add the contents of the skillet to the stock along with the walnuts, potatoes, and cheese, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick enough to coat the spoon (30 minutes).
- Add the chicken meat, and let simmer 10 more minutes.
- Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with the sliced eggs.
What a great melange of flavors! Nothing pre-dominated--a very warming dish in this very cold weather. I did cook the onions in olive oil and a little butter instead of all butter--and soaked the bread in skim milk. Otherwise I was pretty faithful to the instructions. I am so glad I Tried this! Thanks, Little Turtle!