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Aji de Gallina

Serves 8

This delicious chicken dish is a Peruvian classic. It reheats well and is great for a dinner party as all the messy chicken prep can be done in the morning or even the day before.


  • Chicken 1 whole, giblets removed
  • Onions 1, coarsely chopped; 1, finely chopped
  • Carrots 2, chopped
  • Garlic 4 cloves, chopped; 6 cloves, minced
  • White Bread 10 slices, cubed
  • Evaporated Milk 1 x 12 oz can
  • Parmesan Cheese grated, 1/2 cup
  • Walnuts 1/4 cup
  • Vegetable Oil 1 tsp
  • Aji Amarillo Paste 6 tsp
  • Turmeric ground, 2 tsp
  • Egg 1, hard-boiled and sliced
  • Kalamata Olives 1/4 cup, pitted and quartered

Cook It

  1. Place the chicken in a large saucepan with the coarsely chopped onion, carrot and chopped garlic. Pour in enough cold water to just cover the chicken and bring to a simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the bird. Remove chicken onto a plate and allow to cool, reserving the stock.
  2. Strain the chicken stock and discard the vegetables. Rinse and dry the saucepan.
  3. In a blender, puree the evaporated milk, bread cubes, Parmesan, aji amarillo paste, walnuts and 1 cup of the chicken stock until smooth.
  4. Shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in the saucepan and sauté the finely chopped onion until softened but not coloured. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute. Stir in the shredded chicken and turmeric. Pour in the bread puree and cook until heated through, stirring frequently. Add more chicken stock if the sauce is too thick; it should be creamy.
  6. Garnish with egg slices and kalamata olives and serve with steamed rice.


Aji amarillo is a Peruvian chile pepper that imparts a distinctive yellow colour and spicy flavour. Aji amarillo paste can be bought in Latin food stores. If you can’t get it, you can substitute one yellow bell pepper and one yellow habañero chile pepper, chopped and sautéed with the onion and garlic.

If you are reheating the dish, you may need to add a little more chicken stock to bring the sauce back to the right creamy consistency.