Aji de Pollo

Peruvian food has a special spot in my heart. Growing up, I explored Peruvian food with my family. One of our favorite stories is when my sister pulled her tooth out at a Peruvian restaurant and sharing that her favorite food was ceviche. Then, one of my stepmom’s friends owned a Peruvian restaurant and a new love for aji de pollo grew. I wound up having a routine of wanting to order ceviche and papas la huancaina for appetizers, followed by aji de pollo as my main course. We often frequented Pio Pio in Queens, NY and I became obsessed with their chickens and green spicy sauce. I could drink it. When I was 16, I visited Peru with my friend who was visiting family there, and my love for Peruvian food continued to grow.

But then… I found out I was intolerant to gluten and dairy and all hell broke loose. I found out there was gluten and dairy in the aji de pollo, after of course shoveling it into my mouth. After a week long freak out wondering when the migraine or stomach pains would come, I realized I could not live without some version of aji de pollo. Especially since I had just gotten my fiancé to eat it and he fell in love with it too.

It has been months since then, but the urge to make my own has not passed. Today I figured it out, and hot damn is it delicious. I meal prepped it for some of our lunches this week and am SO excited!

I hope you try it out and enjoy!

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Aji de Pollo (gluten & dairy free)

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 4-6

 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 golden potatoes, boiled
  • 1 1/2 cups of white rice, cooked
  • 5-6 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup cubed gluten-free white bread (I used Schar’s gluten-free artisanal white bread)
  • 1 cup of coconut cream (with the little bit of coconut water from the can included)
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 tbsp aji de amarillo paste
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 sprigs of parsley (optional)
  • 3-4 hard boiled eggs (optional)

 

Steps:

  1. Boil potatoes in a medium sized pot, then drain water out and set the potatoes aside.
  2. Boil chicken breasts in the pot over high heat. Be careful not to cover the chicken with the pot lid or it will boil over.
  3. While the chicken boils, place cubed gluten-free bread, raw cashews, nutritional yeast, aji de amarillo paste, and coconut cream in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. When the chicken is boiled, drain water out, remove the chicken from the pot and shred it. You can either use your hands or 2 forks to shred it.
  5. In a pot, add 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and stir. Cook until onions are translucent. Add turmeric and cumin to the pot, cook 1-2 minutes for the spices to toast.
  6. Add shredded chicken to the pot with 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Then add the coconut milk/bread paste to the pot. Stir until the chicken is coated. Add salt to taste.
  7. Serve over white rice, with a side of boiled potato, hard boiled egg, and top with parsley.  Enjoy!

 

Note: you can use multiple pots here to boil the chicken and potatoes at the same time, or quickly clean one pot within steps.

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