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Cook1 hr 30 mins
The third Sunday in July is "Pollo a la Brasa Day" in Peru (Día del Pollo a la Brasa). Like pisco and ceviche, pollo a la brass is a very important component of Peru's culinary heritage, though it is a relatively modern dish. (Peru also celebrates Pisco Sour Day in February and National Ceviche Day on June 28). Pollo a la brasa is a delectable roasted chicken flavored with uniquely Peruvian herbs and spices. it has really started to catch on in the United States, so much so that many areas have several competing restaurants. Peruvian roasted chicken is popular for a reason - the unique combination of spices gives the meat exceptional flavor. The dish has an interesting history: it was made famous by a couple of Swiss expats in the 1950's at their restaurant La Granja Azul (which is still a popular Lima restaurant). They designed and patented the mechanical spit that roasts multiple chickens simultaneously (el rotombo). Peruvian roasted chicken always comes with delicious hot pepper sauces. The red sauce typically has quite a kick, but the green sauce and the creamy yellow aji sauce tend to be milder and sweet. The green sauce is typically prepared with queso fresco or mayonnaise and the Andean herb called huacatay, or Peruvian black mint. The creamy yellow sauce is made with aji amarillo chile peppers. Pollo a la brasa always comes with sides - usually thick cut french fries, fried yuca, corn on the cob, and onion salad/relish. Some places offer tortillas and beans and rice, a more Central American touch. For the complete Peruvian experience, wash everything down with an Inca Cola. If your takeout place has desserts, be sure to try them too! Alfajores or tres leches are some of the most popular.
- Brine the chicken by soaking the chicken (giblets removed) in salt water for 12 hours in the refrigerator . Remove from salt water and rinse.
- Peel and mash the garlic, and mix it with the vinegar and the vegetable oil. Stir in the chile powder, cumin, paprika, garlic salt, and soy sauce.
- Place the chicken in a ziplock bag, and pour in the marinde. Seal the back and toss to coat the chicken with the marinade.
- Marinate chicken, refrigerated, for 12-24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel the potatoes and cut into small wedges.
- Place the potatoes in a roasting pan. Place the chicken, breast side up, on top of a rack over the potatoes.
- Roast chicken uncovered for 30-45 minutes. If the skin is getting too brown, cover loosely with foil. Flip and stir the potatoes with a spatula. Continue to roast until chicken has an internal temperature of about 165 degrees, about 1 hour and a half total oven time, depending on the size of the chicken. (Read more here about how to roast chicken).
- Remove chicken from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before carving.