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Friday, February 21, 2014

Chicken with Peruvian chile sauce by Giada de Laurentiis

Recently for dinner I prepared this dish, from Giada de Laurentiis's cookbook Weeknights with Giada. The sauce is admittedly unusual in terms of its composition, but tastes very good. I think I would try to make it spicier next time. The texture of the processed walnuts and the unique green-yellow color from the aji amarillo and turmeric made me think I would not enjoy it, but I did. I believe next time I will use skinless and boneless chicken, as this time I used skin-on and bone-in thighs and it just made it a bit more trouble in the dish. As usual, just iPhone pics, so not the best quality, and I have the cookbook at the bottom which is an affiliate link.

Chicken with Peruvian chile sauce
Serves 4 to 6
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 slice whole wheat sandwich bread, crust removed, torn into 1/2-inch pieces (I used GF bread)
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 slice or 2 small shallots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves
  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400*F.
  2. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil. Rub the chicken on all sides with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each piece of chicken registers 160*F. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, put the bread and half-and-half in the bowl of a food processor. Allow the bread to soak up the liquid, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until aromatic. Cool slightly and add to the food processor with the soaked bread. Add the broth, cheese, 1/2 cup walnuts, aji amarillo paste, and turmeric. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt.
  6. Spoon the sauce onto a platter and arrange the chicken on top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup cup walnuts and the cilantro and serve.


  1. I adore Peruvian food. We have a great restaurant near our place in SF - yum! So where did you find the aji amarillo paste?

    1. Twitter Mom - I actually purchased some fresh aji amarillo at a "Spanish/Latino" market here in the RVA area, and made my own paste! Peruvian food is so delicious.

  2. Replies
    1. It is so good! Really savory and delicious. The nuttiness of the walnuts really bring in some interesting (in a good way) notes to the recipe!