Every time I go to Peru, I NEED Pollo a la Brasa and french fries. Don’t @ me. When I was in grade school we would spend our winter breaks in Peru. My cousins would be out of school for summer break and we would spend the afternoons by the pool at my grandparent’s house in La Molina. Our parents would rally all of us up for lunch and we’d sit outside at the table wrapped in towels digging into a load of french fries and rotisserie chicken. I’d watch my grandfather build the perfect bite on his fork, a little bit of chicken, a french fry or two, and an almost excessive amount of aji. It’s the only way I know how to eat pollo a la brasa. This one hits home for me.
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons Aji Panca
- 1/ 2 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1/ 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, grated fine
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoons Simply Organic ground Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Barsol Pisco, optional
- 1 (3.5 pound) whole chicken, butterflied
To Butterfly the Chicken
Position the bird so its breast side down on the cutting board. Using poultry shears, make a cut down one side of the backbone, starting where the thigh meets the tail.
If you are too far from the spine, you may hit the thigh bone: just shift the shears inward a bit toward the backbone to cut around the thigh bone instead of trying to crack through it. Continue cutting through the ribs until you completely separate one side of the backbone.
Repeat! Make an identical cut down the other side of the backbone.
Use the shears to remove any large pockets of fat
Flip the bird back over and tuck the wing tips underneath the breasts to help keep them in place and from burning.
To Roast the Chicken
Adjust an oven rack to the upper middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F
Combine the panca, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, garlic, cumin, pisco in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil. Position the chicken in the center of the rack and thoroughly dry the bird with paper towels. Using your hands, separate the skin from the breast and thighs. Rub the butter all over the chicken and under the skin.
Brush the chicken with the panca mixture and roast until the thickest part of the breast close to the bone registers 150°F on an instant read thermometer and the joint between the thighs and body reads 165°F (about 45 minutes). The juices will run clear and carry over cooking will bring the breast and thighs up to 160°F and 170°F.
Remove chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes. Rule of thumb is to allow the protein to rest for about ⅓ to ½ the cooking time. This allows the bird to finish carry over cooking and remain juicy before carving.
Serve with roasted potatoes or french fries and extra aji amarillo.