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
- 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