Chicken Thigh Anticuchos

"I was inspired to create this recipe by all of the delicious anticuchos [grilled meat kebabs] I ate while traveling through Peru," says Stephanie.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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For the Aji Panca Puree:

6 dried aji panca chile peppers, stemmed, some seeds removed

Kosher salt 

For the Marinade and Chicken:

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chile paste)

2 small cloves garlic 

1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground

1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

Freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds skin-on, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes 

Kosher salt

For the Serrano-Cilantro Sauce:

6 small serrano chile peppers, stemmed and seeded

1/2 small poblano chile pepper, stemmed and seeded

2 cups packed fresh cilantro, plus more for topping

Juice of 3 limes

Juice of 1/2 orange

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably Kewpie)

Kosher salt

Crushed peanuts, for topping


  1. Make the aji panca puree: Put the aji panca chiles in a large bowl and cover with 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap; let soak at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Puree the chiles and their soaking liquid with 1 teaspoon salt in a high-powered blender. You should have 2 cups; remove 1 1/2 cups and reserve. 
  3. Make the marinade: Add the olive oil to the remaining puree in the blender along with the vinegar, tamari, gochujang, garlic, cumin, oregano and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Season the chicken with salt and toss with the marinade in a large bowl; let sit 10 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the serrano-cilantro sauce: Blend the serranos, poblano, cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender until mostly smooth. Set aside.
  5. Preheat a grill to medium high. Thread 4 or 5 pieces of chicken skin-side up onto each of 10 wooden skewers, leaving space between each piece. Grill the chicken skewers skin-side down until marked, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until charred and cooked through, 3 to 4 more minutes. 
  6. Transfer the skewers to plates and top with some of the reserved aji panca puree and the serrano-cilantro sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts.