I love this traditional Peruvian chicken stew Ají de gallina is creamy and easy to make, perfect for dinner guests.
Where did Ají de Gallina come from?
This creamy dish is traditional in Perú. It’s an old stew with many variations. It was a peasant dish, so many adjustments were allowed depending on the ingredients at hand, but the mainstay part is the sauce with Ají Amarillo. Nowadays, shredded chicken breast is accepted in a creamy sauce made with ají Amarillo paste, bread or crackers to thicken, and walnuts. The sauce is always made in a blender. Evaporated milk is preferred for the concentrated flavor and being pantry stable. Parmesan cheese is another more recent ingredient added to the recipe.
Where in the USA can I get Ají Amarillo?
The easiest is to buy a jar of ají Amarillo paste. It’s available in many supermarkets, almost all Latino supermarkets, and on Amazon (affiliate link). Other uses of Ají Amarillo paste are Papas a la huancaína (a delicious appetizer of boiled potatoes with salsa huancaína and Causa Rellena (appetizer).
Fresh ají Amarillo is available during the summer in Latin groceries sometimes.
Is Ají de Gallina a spicy dish?
No, ají Amarillo is a flavorful pepper but not spicy. It’s a medium-long slender dark yellow pepper. Please do not confuse it with Rocoto, a much spicier Peruvian pepper.
For dinner at home, I serve the Ají de Gallina with white rice and boiled potatoes; for dessert, try Lucuma Tres Leches. Your guests will leave extremely happy!Print
Ají de Gallina Creamy Chicken Stew
A great introduction to Peruvian cuisine.
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 1x
- 3 whole chicken breasts
- 8 slices of white bread without crust
- 1 cup chicken broth, reserve from cooking the chicken
- 2 large onions, chopped into cubes
- 1 cup of evaporated milk, more to taste
- 2/3 cup of walnuts
- 1 tablespoon of ají Amarillo paste (if impossible to find replace with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 jalapeño pepper, without seeds)
- 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- Hard-boiled egg and black olives to garnish, optional
- The day before or in the morning, cook the chicken in cold water with salt, pepper, celery, or parsley for 25 minutes. Let cool and store about 2 cups of broth. Shred the cold chicken into small pieces.
- Brown the onion in a big skillet or pot with one teaspoon of oil, on medium-high heat, for 6-8 minutes.
- Put the bread, chicken broth, turmeric, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, evaporated milk, sauteed onions, walnuts, green pepper, salt, and pepper in the blender. Blend until you get a creamy sauce. Try and adjust the salt.
- Heat the chicken in the sauce, and adjust the consistency with the evaporated milk or chicken broth.
- Serve hot, garnish with the hard-boiled egg slices and black olives.
Recipe adapted from the Peruvian cookbook by Emilio Peschiera.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Savory
- Method: Stewed
- Cuisine: Peruvian
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 510
- Sugar: 9 g
- Sodium: 1054.1 mg
- Fat: 23.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 6.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 44.5 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 25.8 g
Keywords: Chicken recipe, Ají de Gallina, Peruvian Creamy Chicken Stew
Eleanor MURPHY de Lira
Great dish for easy cooking and all ages