Recipe courtesy of Santos Loo

Peruvian Roasted Chicken Thighs with Creamy Avocado Sauce

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Rotisserie chicken, “pollo a la brasa” in Spanish, is hands-down one of the staple foods consumed in cities across Peru. Typically served with a simple side salad, French fries and the equally famous aji verde—a sauce made with Peruvian aji amarillo (yellow chile) and huacatay (a variety of black mint)—this dish is loved by those seeking a highly seasoned and very juicy chicken at affordable prices. The key to the recipe is in the marinade; restaurants in Peru keep their ingredients secret, but here I share my family recipe alongside an updated recipe for the aji verde. Roasting chicken thighs on a sheet pan makes it an easy dish to do at home. And since aji amarillo and huacatay are difficult ingredients to find in the States, I created a different but equally delicious green sauce that pairs great with the chicken. The sauce can also be used as a spread, dip or salad dressing.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Chicken Thighs:

Avocado Green Sauce:

Directions

  1. For the chicken thighs: Whisk the beer, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, paprika, black pepper, cinnamon and sugar together in a large bowl or baking dish. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat all sides. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for a minimum of 3 hours and up to overnight.
  2. When ready to roast, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. 
  3. Meanwhile, discard the marinating liquid from the bowl or baking dish and drizzle the oil over the chicken to fully coat. Transfer chicken thighs skin-side up to a rimmed sheet pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F, about 35 minutes.
  4. While the chicken roasts, make the avocado green sauce: Combine the queso fresco, mayonnaise, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and 1/2 cup of water in a blender. Blend until the ingredients are minced. Turn off the blender, add the avocado and blend until the sauce becomes smooth and uniform in color, about 1 minute. Be careful to not over blend as the sauce will break. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest 5 minutes. Serve with the avocado sauce.

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