Peruvian Chicken

I work in an open office space with four of my colleagues. I consider ourselves to be a very tight team, and we know each other pretty well, meaning we share stories of growing up, and funny stories about our kids, among other things. Those other things often revolve around technology and food. As we try and go out together at least once a week, we are often too busy at work and eat at our desks, usually our leftovers from the night before. Someone is always warming up their meals and perfuming the office with awesome smells, one of which is one of my colleague’s Peruvian chicken. As I asked what was involved in the recipe, he rattled off a number of ingredients, and I knew right away that I was going to make it.

Peruvian Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large chicken breasts, skin on, bone in
  • 1 head of garlic, skin/paper removed
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, juiced, and zested
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 Habanero chiles, seeds removed (optional)
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • Gallon size sealable plastic bag

Take everything but the chicken and add them to a food processor. Process until you have a nice, smooth consistency.

Take a chicken breast, and use your finger to gently separate the skin from the breast. Take a bit of the mixture and massage all over the chicken breast, making sure you get under the skin. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts, and when done, pour any remaining marinade into the bag.

Recipe for Peruvian Chicken

Seal the bag, give a little massage from the outside, then place in the refrigerator overnight, or up to two days.

When ou are ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator, and let the chicken come close to room temperature. I’m not a big fan of taking cold meat of the refrigerator and onto a hot cooking surface.

Now you have a couple of options here. You can roast the chicken, or cook it on the grill. For me? Well, I go on a hot, charcoal grill to infuse some of the smokiness from the grill, then finish off in the oven.

Peruvian Chicken

With that said, heat up your charcoal, hot coals on on half, no coals on the other half of the grill. This will allow you to control the grill should any of the skin flare up.

Add the chicken to the grill, skin side down, and let it cook for about 5-10 minutes, or until you get a bit of nice flame and crust on the chicken. Turn them over, and cook another 10 minutes, making sure to cover the grill if the heat gets out of hand. This will allow those coals to settle down and get those nice, enclosed smoke clouds inside the grill.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Once they are partially cooked, remove them into a large casserole, or baking dish that can be covered with a lid, or with foil.

Add the chicken into the preheated oven, and cook for another 45 minutes or so, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is around 160-165 degrees. Once cooked, we will allow the chicken to rest, then take a bath in their released juices.

So once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken to a plate. You will be left with a lot of juices, good juices at that.

If you have a fat strainer, this would be the time to use it, if not, no big deal as there is not a whole lot of fat that remains due to the grilling process.

Remove the skin from the chicken breasts, and discard them.

Take the breast of each chicken and carefully remove them from the bone. Next, chop the chicken into bite sized pieces, the add them back into the juices. Repeat with all of the chicken.

Now I made a lot of chicken thinking I would have plenty of leftovers for the work week, because after all, I wanted to play the good smelling food game as well, but here’s the deal. Everyone in the family loved this Peruvian chicken so much that I had nothing, and I mean nothing left for the week.

I served mine with a mixed black bean and rice, Peruvian mayonnaise, mixed kale salad, some limes, and fresh corn tortillas.

You would think that this dish might be spicy with the habanero peppers, but let me tell you, the balance is just perfect. The fresh lime and garlic are the stars of the show, then the fresh herbs and chili peppers just perfect the chicken. You get a bit of smokiness from the grill, and wow, just wow is all I have to say. This one is a must make. Hope you enjoy.

Peruvian Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 6 large chicken breasts, skin on, bone in
  • 1 head of garlic, skin/paper removed
  • ½ cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, juiced, and zested
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 Habanero chiles, seeds removed (optional)
  • ⅓ cup of olive oil
  • Gallon size sealable plastic bag
Instructions
  1. Take everything but the chicken and add them to a food processor. Process until you have a nice, smooth consistency.
  2. Take a chicken breast, and use your finger to gently separate the skin from the breast. Take a bit of the mixture and massage all over the chicken breast, making sure you get under the skin. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts, and when done, pour any remaining marinade into the bag.
  3. Seal the bag, give a little massage from the outside, then place in the refrigerator overnight, or up to two days.
  4. When ou are ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator, and let the chicken come close to room temperature. I'm not a big fan of taking cold meat of the refrigerator and onto a hot cooking surface.
  5. Now you have a couple of options here. You can roast the chicken, or cook it on the grill. For me? Well, I go on a hot, charcoal grill to infuse some of the smokiness from the grill, then finish off in the oven.
  6. With that said, heat up your charcoal, hot coals on on half, no coals on the other half of the grill. This will allow you to control the grill should any of the skin flare up.
  7. Add the chicken to the grill, skin side down, and let it cook for about 5-10 minutes, or until you get a bit of nice flame and crust on the chicken. Turn them over, and cook another 10 minutes, making sure to cover the grill if the heat gets out of hand. This will allow those coals to settle down and get those nice, enclosed smoke clouds inside the grill.
  8. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  9. Once they are partially cooked, remove them into a large casserole, or baking dish that can be covered with a lid, or with foil.
  10. Add the chicken into the preheated oven, and cook for another 45 minutes or so, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is around 160-165 degrees. Once cooked, we will allow the chicken to rest, then take a bath in their released juices.
  11. So once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken to a plate. You will be left with a lot of juices, good juices at that.
  12. If you have a fat strainer, this would be the time to use it, if not, no big deal as there is not a whole lot of fat that remains due to the grilling process.
  13. Remove the skin from the chicken breasts, and discard them.
  14. Take the breast of each chicken and carefully remove them from the bone. Next, chop the chicken into bite sized pieces, the add them back into the juices. Repeat with all of the chicken.
  15. Now I made a lot of chicken thinking I would have plenty of leftovers for the work week, because after all, I wanted to play the good smelling food game as well, but here's the deal. Everyone in the family loved this Peruvian chicken so much that I had nothing, and I mean nothing left for the week.
  16. I served mine with a mixed black bean and rice, Peruvian mayonnaise, mixed kale salad, some limes, and fresh corn tortillas.
  17. You would think that this dish might be spicy with the habanero peppers, but let me tell you, the balance is just perfect. The fresh lime and garlic are the stars of the show, then the fresh herbs and chili peppers just perfect the chicken. You get a bit of smokiness from the grill, and wow, just wow is all I have to say. This one is a must make. Hope you enjoy.

 

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