As promised in my meal plan post, I am featuring the recipe for Aji De Gallina, a really delicious Peruvian chicken stew. As you may know, my husband, Henry, is from Peru. The food of his country is a little different than things that we eat here in America, but I find that it's pretty good, very simple and hearty.
This particular recipe is my favorite Peruvian dish! It features a rich chicken stew served over a bed of rice (traditionaly jasmine rice) and served with steamed potatoes and hard-boiled eggs. Sounds a bit strange, but I promise you it works! I feel I should add that this dish is traditionally prepared with a chili by the name of "aji amarillo", but it is impossible to find here! It is a small, orangish-yellow chili pepper that resembles the scotch bonnett chili, only much less heat! Do not try to use the scotch bonnett as a replacement. If you are fortunate to live near an ethnic market, you might try to see if they carry this chili in a paste form. The best replacement I have been able to find when I don't have the chili paste is anaheim peppers.
Aji De Gallina
2 chicken breasts, bone in and w/skin
4-5 anaheim chillis, seeded and chunked
10 slices of white bread, crusts removed
pinch of cumin
pinch of turmeric
olive oil, enough for frying
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 c. evaporated or fresh whole milk
In a large stockpot, cover chicken breasts with enough water to cover; add whatever aromatics (onion, celery, carrot, etc...) you like to make broth. Bring to a boil and cook until chicken is cooked through. Reserve 2 c. broth. Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool; shred chicken and discard bones and skin; set aside. Place chunks of chili in a food processor with enough water to blend, about 1 tbsp. Blend until completely smooth. In a frying pan, fry onion and garlic in olive oil; add chili and continue to fry, about 6 minutes. Add bread and milk to the pan; cook on med-low for about 10 min. Add chicken to chili mixture and simmer on low about 10 minutes, until thickened. Add cumin and turmeric, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a bed of rice with halved steamed potatoes on the side. Halves of boiled eggs are traditionally served atop the chicken mixture.
There you have it! Maybe this will be the first time you have ever tried Peruvian food--I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!