PeruDishAji de Gallina

Aji de Gallina recipe: Peru’s Spicy Comfort Dish Unveiled

Embark on a flavorful journey to Peru as we delve into the secrets of Aji de Gallina, a beloved dish that encapsulates the rich culinary heritage of this South American gem. Aji de Gallina, a comforting and spicy shredded chicken stew, is a testament to Peru’s diverse flavors, blending indigenous ingredients with Spanish influences. In this blog, we’ll unravel the layers of this iconic dish, exploring the key ingredients and guiding you through the step-by-step preparation to recreate the magic of Aji de Gallina in your own kitchen.

Understanding Aji de Gallina: A Culinary Fusion:

Aji de Gallina, despite its seemingly simple appearance, is a culinary masterpiece that mirrors Peru’s intricate tapestry of flavors. This dish beautifully melds indigenous elements like aji amarillo (yellow chili) with Spanish culinary techniques, resulting in a creamy and mildly spicy stew. Traditionally served with rice, potatoes, and hard-boiled eggs, Aji de Gallina is a celebration of Peru’s culinary fusion and cultural diversity.

Ingredients for Authentic Aji de Gallina:

Creating an authentic Aji de Gallina requires a careful selection of ingredients that capture the essence of Peruvian cuisine. Let’s explore the components that contribute to the rich and nuanced flavors of this iconic dish.

For the Shredded Chicken:

  1. Chicken Breast: 2 cups, cooked and shredded, forming the heart of the dish.
  2. Chicken Broth: 2 cups, for cooking and infusing the chicken with flavor.

For the Aji Amarillo Sauce:

  1. Aji Amarillo Paste: 4 tablespoons, the star ingredient providing heat and vibrant color.
  2. Vegetable Oil: 2 tablespoons, for sautéing and enhancing the sauce’s richness.
  3. Onions: 1 cup, finely chopped, adding a savory base to the sauce.
  4. Garlic: 3 cloves, minced, for aromatic depth.
  5. Ground Walnuts: 1/2 cup, providing a creamy texture and nutty flavor.
  6. Evaporated Milk: 1 cup, for creaminess and a touch of sweetness.
  7. Crackers or Bread: 1 cup, soaked in milk, creating a thickening agent for the sauce.
  8. Queso Fresco or Parmesan Cheese: 1/2 cup, grated, for a subtle cheesy note.
  9. Salt and Pepper: To taste, enhancing the overall seasoning.

Additional Ingredients:

  1. Potatoes: 2 cups, boiled and sliced, serving as a side or bed for the dish.
  2. Rice: 2 cups, cooked, providing a traditional accompaniment.
  3. Hard-Boiled Eggs: 4, sliced, adding richness and texture.


  1. Black Olives: 1/2 cup, sliced, for a briny contrast.
  2. Fresh Parsley: 1/4 cup, chopped, for a touch of freshness.

Preparation: Crafting the Perfect Aji de Gallina:

Achieving the perfect balance of flavors in Aji de Gallina involves a multi-step process that enhances the dish’s depth and richness. Let’s embark on the step-by-step journey to create an authentic batch of Aji de Gallina.

Step 1: Preparing the Shredded Chicken:

  1. Cook Chicken Breast: In a pot, cook the chicken breasts in chicken broth until tender. Once cooked, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Step 2: Creating the Aji Amarillo Sauce:

  1. Sauté Onions and Garlic: In a skillet, sauté chopped onions and minced garlic in vegetable oil until soft and golden.

  2. Add Aji Amarillo Paste: Introduce the Aji Amarillo paste to the skillet, stirring it into the onion and garlic mixture. Allow the vibrant color and spiciness of the aji amarillo to infuse the base.

  3. Incorporate Ground Walnuts: Add ground walnuts to the skillet, bringing a nutty richness to the sauce.

  4. Soak Crackers or Bread: In a separate bowl, soak crackers or bread in milk until softened. This mixture will serve as a thickening agent for the sauce.

  5. Blend and Strain: Combine the soaked crackers or bread with the aji amarillo mixture in a blender. Blend until smooth, then strain the sauce to achieve a velvety consistency.

  6. Simmer with Evaporated Milk: Return the strained sauce to the skillet, adding evaporated milk and simmering until the sauce thickens. This step infuses the sauce with creaminess and a touch of sweetness.

  7. Incorporate Cheese: Add grated queso fresco or Parmesan cheese to the sauce, stirring until it melts and imparts a subtle cheesy note.

  8. Season to Perfection: Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, ensuring a well-balanced flavor profile.

Step 3: Assembling Aji de Gallina:

  1. Combine Shredded Chicken and Sauce: Mix the shredded chicken with the prepared aji amarillo sauce, ensuring every piece is coated in the flavorful mixture.

Step 4: Serving Aji de Gallina:

  1. Plate with Potatoes and Rice: Arrange boiled and sliced potatoes on a plate, placing a generous portion of Aji de Gallina over them. Serve with cooked rice on the side.

  2. Garnish with Eggs and Olives: Decorate the dish with slices of hard-boiled eggs and black olives, adding visual appeal and a contrasting briny flavor.

  3. Sprinkle with Fresh Parsley: Finish by sprinkling freshly chopped parsley over the Aji de Gallina for a burst of freshness.

Tips for Perfect Aji de Gallina:

  1. Aji Amarillo Paste:

    • Adjust Heat Level: Depending on your spice preference, you can adjust the amount of aji amarillo paste to control the dish’s heat.
  2. Crackers or Bread:

    • Consistency Matters: The soaked crackers or bread serve as a thickening agent. Adjust the quantity based on the desired consistency of the sauce.
  3. Cheese Selection:

    • Queso Fresco or Parmesan: While queso fresco is traditional, Parmesan cheese can be a suitable substitute, providing a similar savory note.
  4. Garnishes:

    • Personalize with Extras: Feel free to personalize your Aji de Gallina with additional garnishes like sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, or a drizzle of olive oil.
  5. Serve with Traditional Accompaniments:

    • Classic Pairings: Aji de Gallina is traditionally served with boiled potatoes, rice, and hard-boiled eggs. These accompaniments complement the dish’s flavors and textures.

Conclusion: Aji de Gallina, A Symphony of Flavors:

In conclusion, Aji de Gallina is not just a dish; it’s a symphony of flavors that harmonize to create a culinary masterpiece emblematic of Peru’s rich heritage. As you savor each spoonful of this spicy shredded chicken stew, let the warmth of the aji amarillo, the creaminess of the sauce, and the heartiness of the shredded chicken transport you to the vibrant kitchens of Peru.

Whether enjoyed as a family meal, served at celebratory gatherings, or shared with friends, Aji de Gallina encapsulates the essence of Peruvian hospitality and culinary ingenuity. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the art of crafting this iconic dish, and relish in the experience of savoring a bowl of Aji de Gallina—a true taste of Peru’s spicy and comforting culinary tradition.

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