Ají de Gallina - "The chili of the hen". Traditionally this Peruvian dish is made with hen, which gives a different taste, but our recipe is with chicken. We used chicken because it is more available, and you are actually just supposed to use the breast fillets. Good quality hen can be hard to find.
Ingredients (serves 6-8 people)
4 chicken breast fillets
6 slices of white bread, crust removed (you can use old bread)
3 dl whole milk (we recommend Røros milk in Norway)
2 yellow onions
4 garlic cloves
6 tbsp of Aji amarillo paste (yellow Peruvian chili paste)*
100g parmesan cheese (grated)
* If you can't find aji amarillo, don't add the same amount of other types of chilis. Instead make a paste of yellow pepper and add some chili to it.
1 liter chicken/hen stock:
1 celery stalk
2 garlic cloves
8 hard-boiled eggs, halved
2 garlic colves
Start by separating the chicken breast fillets from the carcass. The chicken legs can be frozen and saved for another dish. The carcass goes in the stock! Chop the onions it into smaller pieces and fry them in oil. Let them caramelize in the pan. Rough chop all the vegetables for the stock. No need to peel carrot and garlic, just don't forget to clean them. Let the vegetables fry in the oil for a while too. Then add water.Fill water in the pot to completely cover everything and then some more. Get to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. Then put a lid on and let it cook on low heat for as many hours as you have available or preferably over night. Once it is done you strain the broth from the meat and vegetables and pour it back in the pot. Remove the surface fat once it cools.
Now you can cook the chicken breast fillets in the broth until they are done. Remove them and allow to cool down, then shred the meat very finely. Meanwhile you place the white bread in the milk to soak. Dice the onion, finely mince the garlic for the stew and pureé the garlic for the rice along with some sunflower oil. Chop the walnuts to small pieces. Grate the parmesan. Once you have everything in place you are ready to start cooking.
Boil the eggs for 8-12 minutes until they are done (hard boiled). Place in cold water, then remove the shell. Cut in half. Cook the rice in water with salt and the garlic/oil pureé. Chop parsley and boil potatoes. Ready the olives.
Fry onions and garlic in olive oil on low heat until they get blank. Add the soaked bread and milk and stir well to prevent it from burning. Add the aji amarillo paste and the broth and let it cook for 10 minutes to thicken. Add chicken and walnuts in the end. Finally the grated parmesan cheese. Adjust taste with salt and white pepper, and more aji amarillo paste if needed.
Serve the Aji de Gallina on the lovely garlic rice, with potatoes, eggs, olives and fresh parsley on the side. Blue Congo potatoes chips for garnish is optional!
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