Chicken with Peruvian Chile Sauce

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
25 min
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • Chicken:
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sauce:
  • 1 slice whole wheat sandwich bread, crust removed, cut or torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups (6 ounces) crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus 1/3 cup toasted (see Cook's Note)
  • 1 tablespoon Aji Amarillo paste (found in Latin markets or the Hispanic section of grocery stores)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves
Directions

For the chicken: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray.

Rub the chicken on all sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each piece of chicken registers 160 degrees F, 35 to 45 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes.

For the sauce: Place the bread and half-and-half in the bowl of a food processor. Allow the bread to soak up the liquid, about 10 minutes.

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Cool slightly and add to the food processor with the soaked bread. Add the broth, cheeses, 1/2 cup walnuts, Aji Amarillo paste, and turmeric. Blend until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.

Spoon some of the sauce on a platter and arrange the chicken on top. Sprinkle with the remaining toasted walnuts and cilantro (or parsley, if using) and serve.

Cook's Note: To toast the walnuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.


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