Aji de Gallina
Typically this recipe for aji de gallina is served with a potato and rice. The vegetables used in the stock can be used to make this a wholesome meal.
When we lived in Chile, we went on a vacation in Peru – and the Peruvian food was absolutely delicious. Aji de Gallina was hands-down the best meal the rest of the family had (but since it is typically made with bread, I couldn’t have any of it). So I waited until coming home and realised I had a loaf of gluten-free bread in the freezer, just crying out to be used. The recipe below is quite a bit of work, and we’ve since adapted it when we want this dish, but don’t have a lot of time.
Our adaptation of this recipe to something that doesn’t take forever to cook (and to make it Whole30 compliant):
- Poach the chicken in about 1L of water – should take about 20-30 mins depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
- Add approximately 1 cup coconut cream and 2-3 tsp aji amarillo paste to a frying pan and combine until warm. Turmeric powder (1 tsp) can be added here to make it the traditional yellow color.
- Drain the chicken from the water, shred and cook gently in the cream mixture until the sauce has thickened as desired.
- 1kg skinless chicken breast
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2L water
- 1 loaf white bread, crusts removed and cubed
- 1 tin evaporated milk (approx 350mL)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tsp aji amarillo chile paste
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- Place chicken breasts, onion, carrot and garlic in a large saucepan, pour in water and slowly bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Skim off the foam which forms on top, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 30 mins. Remove chicken to a plate and allow to cool. Strain the resulting chicken stock, keep the vegetables aside. Alternatively, just poach the chicken in commercial chicken stock!
- Pour evaporated milk and 1/2 cup chicken stock into the bowl of a blender. Add bread cubes and puree until smooth. Add parmesan cheese and walnuts, puree until smooth.
- Shred the cooled chicken.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in minced garlic and chopped onion, cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken and aji amarillo until heated through. Pour in bread puree and cook until hot, stirring frequently. Add more chicken stock if needed to keep from getting too thick. Season with turmeric and simmer for 5 minutes more.
- Serve garnished with hard-boiled egg slices.
- Substitute almond milk for evaporated milk (approx 250mL)
- Substitute homemade parmesan cheese (1/2 cup brazil nuts, 1/8 cup nutritional yeast, 1 tsp garlic salt processed to form fine crumbs)