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Peruvian-Inspired Chicken...in Denmark


This is a dinner that I made for the Frydenholm Mortensens when we invaded their abode in Ry, Denmark over the holidays. I had been reading - and was duly inspired by - Edward Lee's Buttermilk Graffiti. 


I am not going to comment too much on the book because it's a bookclub pick for later in the year. Just know that it's not the first time I'm reading this book. I doubt it'll be the last. I've been a fan of his since Mind of a Chef and his recipes and sentiments are timeless. I picked this recipe because it looked as if it had a lot of flavor. And it would be easy to do between our visits to museums and the copious board games we were playing.


Also, I write 'inspired' because a true Pollo a la Brasa is slow-cooked over charcoal. This version was roasted in the oven. But the flavor profile remains. I did leave out a few ingredients as we didn't want it too spicy for little palates. In my mind, the Green Ají Sauce made this dish. I could have eaten that with a spoon. But, since we were at someone else's house, I refrained.

Ingredients serves 8
Chicken

  • 2 whole chickens, preferably organic, approximately 2-1/2 pounds each
  • 1/2 C soy sauce
  • 4 T olive oil
  • juice from 4 limes or lemons
  • 8 to 10 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1-1/2" knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 t oregano
  • 2 t rosemary
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t pepper

Green Ají Sauce

  • 1 bunch herbs (traditionally this would be cilantro, but we weren't sure the kids would like it, so we used parsley)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise
  • pinch of oregano
  • jalapeno peppers, optional (we skipped this, again for the kids' palates)


Procedure
Chicken
Whisk together the soy sauce, olive oil, lime or lemon juice, minced garlic, grated ginger, oregano, rosemary, salt, and pepper to form a paste. Place the chicken in a large baking dish and rub the chicken with the paste. Cover and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Pull the chicken out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before roasting. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Roast the chicken for 50 to 55 minutes. The skin should be browned and crisp and the juices clear. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


Green Ají Sauce
Mince the herbs as finely as you can (or use a blender or food processor). Whisk together with all of the other ingredients. Serve on the side with the roasted chicken. 


We also had broccoli and brown rice. It was a hit!

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