Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew (Aji de Gallina)

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Picture this: a warm and cozy kitchen filled with the enticing aromas of tender shredded chicken, earthy yellow chilies, rich cream, and savory cheese. You may not realize it yet, but you’re about to embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Peru with our mouthwatering Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew. This delectable and satisfying dish is a staple in Peruvian cuisine and boasts an incredible combination of flavors that will make your taste buds sing. But don’t just take our word for it – whip up this comforting and flavorful stew and let your palate be the judge!

Here’s a fun fact – the secret ingredient in this traditional stew is aji amarillo, a vibrant and zesty Peruvian yellow chili that provides just the right amount of heat. Combined with the creaminess of the sauce and the tender shredded chicken, this dish expertly balances flavors and textures that will leave you craving more. So why not broaden your culinary horizons and dive into the amazing world of Peruvian cuisine with this delightful chicken stew? Get ready to impress your friends and family with this scrumptious, comforting and downright addictive recipe that’s just waiting for you in the next section. Vamos a cocinar!

Yield & Servings:

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients:

1 whole rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 4 cups)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup aji amarillo paste (Peruvian yellow pepper paste)
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 boiled potatoes, halved
4-6 hard-boiled eggs, halved
Cooked white rice, for serving
Black olives, for garnish

Notable Equipment & Tools:

  • Large skillet or saucepan
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Blender or food processor

Step-by-step Instructions:

Step 1: Sauté Onion in Vegetable Oil

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Cook Minced Garlic

Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

Step 3: Cook Aji Amarillo Paste to Blend Flavors

Stir in the aji amarillo paste and cook for 3-4 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Step 4: Blend Creamy Sauce Ingredients

In a blender or food processor, combine the evaporated milk, chicken broth, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped walnuts, and breadcrumbs. Blend until smooth.

Step 5: Combine Blended Mixture with Onion and Aji Amarillo Paste

Pour the blended mixture into the skillet with the onion and aji amarillo paste. Stir well to combine, then bring the mixture to a simmer.

Step 6: Add Shredded Chicken and Thicken Sauce

Add the shredded rotisserie chicken to the skillet and mix well, ensuring the chicken is evenly coated with the sauce. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is heated through.

Step 7: Season with Salt, Pepper, and Add Cilantro

Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the chopped cilantro.

Step 8: Serve Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew

To serve, place a scoop of cooked white rice on each plate. Arrange the boiled potato halves and hard-boiled egg halves around the rice. Spoon the creamy chicken stew over the rice and garnish with black olives. Enjoy your delicious Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew!

Substitutions & Alternatives:

Fear not, my intrepid culinary explorers! If you find yourself short on a certain ingredient, or simply want to try a new twist on this classic Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew, we’ve got you covered with these handy swaps and suggestions.

Chicken: If rotisserie chicken is not available, you can use cooked and shredded chicken breasts, thighs, or a mix of both. You can also substitute with turkey or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Aji Amarillo Paste: Can’t find this delightful Peruvian yellow pepper paste? No problem! You can use a mix of 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper puree and 1/4 cup jalapeno puree for a milder kick, or 1/4 cup habanero puree for a spicier adventure. Or, if you’re in a pinch, you can substitute with another hot sauce or chili paste that you have on hand. Keep in mind, the flavor profile may slightly differ, but it will still be delicious!

Evaporated Milk: If you’re lactose intolerant or want a dairy-free alternative, you can use coconut milk or almond milk instead. Just be aware that this may alter the richness and creaminess of the dish slightly.

Parmesan Cheese: For a different cheesy twist, try substituting Parmesan with Pecorino Romano, Asiago, or another hard cheese of your choice. If you’re after a dairy-free option, you can experiment with nutritional yeast or a vegan cheese alternative.

Walnuts: Allergic to nuts, or simply not a fan? Feel free to swap the walnuts with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or even cooked lentils. This will still provide that satisfyingly thick texture to the stew.

Breadcrumbs: Gluten-free eaters, rejoice! You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs, or even ground oats or almond flour as a substitute.

Cilantro: We know that cilantro can be a polarizing herb. If you’re not a fan, you can try using chopped parsley or even a bit of fresh mint instead.

Boiled Potatoes, Hard-boiled Eggs & Rice: Want to mix up your accompaniments? You can serve the stew with quinoa, cauliflower rice, or roasted vegetables as healthier alternatives, or even swap out the potatoes for sweet potatoes or yucca for a new taste sensation.

Now, armed with these substitutions and alternatives, you’re ready to conquer the kitchen and impress your friends and family with your ingenious Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew adaptations! Happy cooking and buen provecho!

Storage & Reheating: A Culinary Time Capsule

Congratulations! You’ve successfully whipped up a mouthwatering batch of Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew. But let’s face it, sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, and you might have some leftovers. Fret not, my culinary comrades, for this scrumptious stew is the gift that keeps on giving!

To keep your precious Peruvian creation fresh and flavorful, simply transfer any remaining stew into an airtight container. The culinary heritage of Peru will be safely preserved in this modern-day time capsule, nestled snugly in your refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just make sure to store the boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and cooked rice separately to avoid any textural misadventures.

When hunger strikes again, it’s time for the grand reveal! Reheating this creamy concoction is as easy as uno, dos, tres! For best results, warm the stew in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating and to avoid scorching the delectable sauce. Meanwhile, you can reheat the boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until warmed through. As for the rice, sprinkle it with a bit of water and microwave for about 1-2 minutes, or until it’s steaming hot and ready to cradle your reheated stew.

Once everything is heated to perfection, simply reassemble your plate as if you were crafting a culinary masterpiece (which, let’s be honest, you are). Then, sit back, relax, and savor each bite of your Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew encore – and don’t forget to garnish with those all-important black olives!

So there you have it, folks. Armed with these storage and reheating secrets, you can now confidently enjoy your delicious Peruvian feast again and again, ensuring not a single bite goes to waste. ¡Buen provecho!

Serving Ideas: Elevate Your Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew Experience

Now that you’ve mastered the art of making this mouthwatering Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew, it’s time to take your culinary journey to the next level by exploring some creative serving ideas! Let’s dive right into these suggestions that will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of Peru and make your dining experience an unforgettable one.

1. Think Beyond White Rice: While this dish traditionally pairs with white rice, you can always experiment with other grains like quinoa or brown rice. Not only will you add a nuttier flavor and more texture to the dish, but you’ll also be giving a nod to Peru’s ancient Incan civilization who first cultivated quinoa.

2. Add Some Greens: Introduce an element of freshness to your stew by serving it alongside a crisp, green salad. You’ll create a beautiful symphony of flavors and textures that will make your taste buds dance with joy! Plus, you’ll feel good knowing you’ve included something healthy in your meal.

3. Embrace Your Inner Potato Lover: Peru is the birthplace of the potato, boasting over 3,000 varieties! Why not take this opportunity to explore the world of potatoes? Swap out the boiled potatoes in the recipe for roasted Peruvian purple potatoes, seasoned with a dash of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Their vibrant color will make the dish even more visually stunning, and their unique flavor will add a new dimension to the meal.

4. Get Saucy: If you’re a fan of sauces, consider drizzling your stew with some extra aji amarillo paste or even a homemade Peruvian green sauce (made from cilantro, jalapenos, and mayonnaise). Your guests will appreciate the opportunity to customize their dish to their personal spice preferences.

5. Play with Presentation: Who says your Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew has to be served on a plate? Get creative with your presentation by serving it in a hollowed-out squash or pumpkin, creating a beautiful and edible bowl. Not only will this add flair to your meal, but it’ll also give your guests something to talk about!

No matter how you choose to serve your Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew, the most important thing is to savor each delicious bite and bask in your culinary prowess. So, go forth, dear home chef, and share this delightful dish with your loved ones – and remember to save some for yourself, because you’ve earned it!

Variations & Customization

For our adventurous foodies and those with dietary restrictions, we’ve got you covered! This Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew recipe is easily adaptable to suit various diets and preferences while still maintaining its deliciousness and authenticity.

1. Vegan/Vegetarian: Swap out the rotisserie chicken for hearty vegetables like chickpeas, cauliflower, or even tofu for a cruelty-free version of this dish! Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and use non-dairy milk and a vegan Parmesan cheese alternative to keep things animal-free. You might even discover a new favorite dish!

2. Gluten-Free: To make this recipe gluten-free, simply replace the breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs or ground oats. Use gluten-free aji amarillo paste, and double-check all other ingredients for hidden gluten sources.

3. GAPS/AIP: For those following the GAPS or AIP diets, this recipe can be easily modified. Replace the vegetable oil with coconut oil, and use homemade aji amarillo paste to control the ingredients. Remove the breadcrumbs, walnuts, and Parmesan cheese and replace the evaporated milk with coconut milk for a creamy, gut-friendly dish.

4. Keto: In the land of Keto, we must bid farewell to the breadcrumbs and potatoes. Fear not, though, for you can add in some healthy fats like avocado or use mashed cauliflower as a satisfying low-carb potato substitute. Also, try using almond flour instead of breadcrumbs, and remember to watch the portion size of your rice.

5. Lactose-Free: For our lactose-free friends, swap out the evaporated milk with lactose-free milk or a non-dairy milk alternative. Replace the Parmesan cheese with a lactose-free cheese or omit it entirely if desired.

6. Global Culinary Heritage: You can also experiment with the flavors in this Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew by adding some unique ingredients from different cuisines! For example, try adding some Thai curry paste or Indian spices like garam masala for an exotic twist on this beloved Peruvian dish.

Remember, cooking is all about experimentation and creativity, so feel free to mix and match, add or remove ingredients, and tailor this recipe to your specific dietary needs and taste buds. So, grab your aprons, folks, and let’s make some delicious, customizable Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew!

Notes & Tips

  • Aji Amarillo Paste: This flavorful Peruvian yellow pepper paste is the star of the show in this creamy chicken stew. It’s widely available in Latin American grocery stores and online. If you can’t find it, a substitute like a combination of hot sauce and yellow bell pepper can be used, but the unique flavor of aji amarillo will be missed. Our ancestors in Peru would be proud of you for going the extra mile to find the real deal.
  • Shredding the Chicken: Save time by using a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store, as the recipe suggests. But if you’re feeling adventurous or want to put that culinary degree to work, feel free to roast your own chicken. When shredding, don’t stress about perfection; rustic, uneven shreds add more personality to the dish. Plus, it’s a great way to take out your frustrations from the day, one chicken shred at a time.
  • Customization is Key: This recipe is just a starting point for your own creative culinary expression. If you’re nutty about nuts, feel free to increase the amount of walnuts or try other types of nuts like almonds or cashews. Want to make it more colorful? Throw in some peas, bell peppers or even corn. It’s your dinner party and you can customize if you want to.
  • The Starchy Sidekick: Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew is traditionally served with white rice, boiled potatoes, and hard-boiled eggs. But who says you can’t mix it up? For a healthier alternative, try brown rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice. Your heart and waistline will thank you later. Oh, and don’t forget the olives for a little extra pizzazz!
  • Spice it Up: If you and your dinner guests are fans of heat, don’t hesitate to ramp up the spice factor. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, a dash of hot sauce, or even some extra aji amarillo paste to the stew. Just remember – you can always add more spice, but you can’t take it away, so start small and work your way up.
  • Leftover Love: This delightful stew tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld together overnight. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, and you’ve got yourself a quick and delicious lunch or dinner. It’s like culinary time travel—your future self will thank you!

Common Mistakes

Ah, Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew, a delightful dish that can take your tastebuds on a flavorful journey to the Land of the Incas. However, in our quest for culinary greatness, sometimes we might stumble and make a few mistakes. Fear not, intrepid chefs! We’re here to help you avoid these pitfalls and perfect your creamy chicken stew game.

1. Skimping on the Aji Amarillo Paste: Aji amarillo paste is the heart and soul of this dish, so don’t be stingy! It’s what gives the stew its beautiful golden hue and unique, slightly spicy flavor. If you can’t find aji amarillo paste in your local grocery store, you can always order it online or substitute with another mildly spicy pepper paste.

2. Using pre-grated Parmesan cheese: You might be tempted to save time by using pre-grated Parmesan cheese, but resist the urge! Freshly grated Parmesan has a superior flavor and will melt more smoothly into your sauce, resulting in a creamier, more delicious stew.

3. Overcooking the onions and garlic: Onions and garlic are the foundation of any good dish, but if overcooked, they can become bitter and lose their delightful aromatic qualities. Keep an eye on your skillet, stirring frequently to prevent burning, and ensure your onions become translucent and your garlic is just fragrant.

4. Skipping the blending step: Blending the evaporated milk, chicken broth, cheese, walnuts, and breadcrumbs might seem unnecessary, but trust us, it’s worth it! This step ensures a smooth, velvety sauce, which is the hallmark of a great Peruvian chicken stew. Plus, it’s a chance to flex those blending muscles and show off your kitchen gadgetry.

5. Not seasoning your stew: Yes, there are many flavorful ingredients in this dish, but don’t forget the humble salt and pepper. These two seasoning powerhouses will help bring all of the flavors together and elevate your stew to new heights. Taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed, remembering that you can always add more, but you can’t take it away!

6. Overcooking the chicken: Since you’re using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, you don’t need to worry about cooking it through. Just make sure it’s heated and well-coated in the sauce without cooking it too long, which can lead to dry, overcooked chicken. No one wants that!

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be on your way to creating a mouthwatering, authentic Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew that will impress your friends, family, and even the most discerning of llamas. Happy cooking!

Health Risks & Benefits

First off, let’s give a round of applause to our beloved rotisserie chicken – not only is it delicious, but it’s also a fantastic source of lean protein! Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, tissues, and organs, as well as keeping your immune system strong. So, you can strut your stuff, knowing that this Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew is helping you power through your day!

Now, let’s talk about the aji amarillo paste. This Peruvian yellow pepper paste not only provides a flavorful kick to the dish but is also rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Antioxidants help to protect your body from damage caused by free radicals, while vitamin C supports a healthy immune system, promotes skin health, and even helps with iron absorption. So, not only will your taste buds be dancing, but your body will be thanking you as well.

As for the walnuts, they’re not just there for a bit of crunch. These little guys pack a nutritional punch too! Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to benefit heart health, reduce inflammation, and even help with brain function. Go nuts for walnuts!

However, it’s important to acknowledge that this dish does have its indulgences – namely, the evaporated milk and Parmesan cheese. While they add a creamy, delicious texture and flavor to the dish, they also contribute to its saturated fat content. Consuming too much saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease. So, enjoy this dish in moderation and make sure to balance it out with plenty of veggies and other heart-healthy foods.

In conclusion, our Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew is a delightful combination of flavors and textures that can offer some health benefits. The protein from the chicken, antioxidants from the aji amarillo paste, and omega-3 fatty acids from the walnuts are all great for your body. Just remember to keep an eye on portion sizes and balance your diet with other nutritious foods. Now, go forth and feast on this global culinary delight with gusto!

Recipe History & Context

Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew, known as Aji de Gallina in its homeland, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the fusion of Spanish and Incan culinary traditions. This delightful dish cleverly combines the flavors of the Old and New Worlds, resulting in a scrumptious, comforting meal that has become a beloved staple in Peruvian cuisine.

It is said that the dish’s origin can be traced back to the time when the Spaniards arrived in Peru during the 16th century. As the story goes, the Spanish conquistadors brought with them various ingredients and cooking techniques that were unknown to the indigenous Inca population. The introduction of European products such as onions, garlic, chicken, and dairy products, combined with native ingredients like aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow pepper) and potatoes, laid the foundation for the creation of Aji de Gallina.

The key ingredient that sets this dish apart is the aji amarillo paste, which is made from the vibrant yellow Peruvian peppers that pack a spicy punch. But fear not, heat-seekers and spice-averse folks alike, Aji de Gallina strikes the perfect balance of flavor and heat, thanks to the creamy mellowness of evaporated milk and Parmesan cheese.

Aji de Gallina also showcases Peru’s penchant for incorporating nuts into their dishes, with walnuts providing a rich, earthy depth to the sauce. And let’s not forget the hard-boiled eggs, potato, and black olives that round out this satisfying meal. Truly a symphony of flavors and textures, this dish will have your taste buds singing with delight!

So, the next time you’re yearning for a culinary adventure, whip up a batch of Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew, and let your senses take you on a journey to the heart of the Andes. Who knows, you might even discover a newfound appreciation for the magical combination of aji amarillo and cheese! Buen provecho!

Common Questions

What if I can’t find aji amarillo paste at my local grocery store?

Don’t fret! Aji amarillo paste is a Peruvian yellow pepper paste that adds a unique flavor to this dish. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, you can substitute it with another pepper paste, such as rocoto paste or even a combination of sriracha and yellow mustard (3 parts sriracha to 1 part mustard). While the taste may not be exactly the same, these substitutes will still give your dish a bit of a kick and a delicious twist.

Can I use fresh chicken instead of rotisserie chicken?

Absolutely! If you prefer to use fresh chicken, simply cook your desired cut of chicken (breast, thigh, etc.) beforehand, shred it, and then add it to the recipe as instructed. Keep in mind that this may increase your overall prep and cook time, but the result will be just as mouth-watering.

Is there a vegetarian version of this Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew?

Certainly, you can still enjoy the rich and creamy flavors of this dish without the chicken. Simply omit the chicken and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. You can also add more veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, or even tofu for a protein boost. The possibilities are endless, and the result will be a delicious and satisfying vegetarian meal.

How can I store leftovers and reheat them later?

If you’re lucky to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, simply place the desired portion in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. You may need to add a splash of chicken or vegetable broth to maintain the creamy consistency.

Can I make this dish ahead of time and freeze it?

Yes, you can! To freeze, let the stew cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container, leaving about an inch of space at the top for expansion. Seal tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw the stew in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a saucepan over low heat, adding a little broth if needed to maintain the creaminess. Your taste buds will be transported back to that first delectable bite!

Peruvian Chicken Stew (Aji de Gallina)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories: 707kcal

Equipment

  • Large skillet or saucepan
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup aji amarillo paste Peruvian yellow pepper paste
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 boiled potatoes halved
  • 4-6 hard-boiled eggs halved
  • Cooked white rice for serving
  • Black olives for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  • Stir in the aji amarillo paste and cook for 3-4 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the evaporated milk, chicken broth, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped walnuts, and breadcrumbs. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour the blended mixture into the skillet with the onion and aji amarillo paste. Stir well to combine, then bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Add the shredded rotisserie chicken to the skillet and mix well, ensuring the chicken is evenly coated with the sauce. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is heated through.
  • Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the chopped cilantro.
  • To serve, place a scoop of cooked white rice on each plate. Arrange the boiled potato halves and hard-boiled egg halves around the rice. Spoon the creamy chicken stew over the rice and garnish with black olives. Enjoy your delicious Creamy Peruvian Chicken Stew!

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Nutrition

Calories: 707kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 248mg | Sodium: 964mg | Potassium: 998mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 332mg | Iron: 3mg

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