Rotisserie Peruvian Chicken (Pollo a la Brasa) with Drip Pan Purple Potatoes

I was haunted by Peruvian spit-roasted chicken. It’s right up my alley – rotisserie chicken? I’m there. And the Internet kept talking about this fast food sensation sweeping the nation. But “sweeping” was an exaggeration – my nearest Peruvian chicken joint is a two and a half hour drive away in Columbus.

I wanted to make my own Peruvian chicken. But the recipes are few and far between, and none of them seem to agree on the ingredients. I resigned myself to waiting until I could taste the real thing.
Impatiently. I hate waiting.

Last year, while vacationing in Sonoma valley, I had my chance. I was looking for dinner, and saw Sazon Peruvian Cuisine. I dragged the wife and kids there, promising Diane a Pisco Sour and the kids all the french fries they could eat.
Peru is the birthplace of potatoes. I figured I was safe with that promise.

Pollo a la Brasa was worth the search. The spice rub had flavors I couldn’t place, so I pumped our host for information. He said there were 14 different spices in their marinade, including Coca-Cola. But the key, he said, was Aji – Peruvian peppers. I dutifully wrote that down.

Back from vacation, I was ready to go. Then I hit my next stumbling block – Aji is hard to find in Akron. Eventually I broke down and ordered a (very expensive) jar of Aji Amarillo pepper paste on the Internet.

And, of course, we had to have some drip pan Peruvian purple potatoes with the chicken. We can’t have Peruvian chicken without the potatoes.
OK, purple, red and white potatoes. But the purple potatoes were the hit of the show. The kids kept asking – Purple potatoes? Really?

Recipe: Rotisserie Peruvian Chicken (Pollo a la Brasa) with Drip Pan Purple Potatoes


Adapted from: Classic Pollo a la Brasa, [holypollo.com]
Cooking time: 60 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4 pound) whole chicken

Peruvian Paste

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons aji amarillo pepper paste (or 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and minced)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime

Drip pan potatoes

  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes (A mix of purple, red and white new potatoes), halved
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon aji amarillo pepper paste

Directions

1. Season the chicken

Drop the garlic and ginger into a running blender or food processor, and process until minced. Add the rest of the Peruvian Paste ingredients and blend into a thick paste. Rub the chicken with the paste, inside and out. Gently work your fingers under the skin on the breast, then rub some of the paste directly onto the breast meat. Put the chicken in a baking dish, then let it rest in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably overnight.

2. Truss and spit the chicken

One hour before cooking, take the chicken out of the refrigerator. Fold the wingtips under the wings and truss the chicken. (Trussing instructions here). Skewer the chicken on the rotisserie spit, securing it with the spit forks. Let the chicken rest at room temperature until the grill is ready.

3. Set up the grill for indirect high heat

Set the grill up for indirect high heat, about 450°F, with the drip pan in the middle of the grill.
For my Weber Summit, this means removing the grates, turning the two outer burners (burners 1 and 6) to high, setting the infrared burner to high, and preheating the grill for ten to fifteen minutes.

4. Rotisserie grill the chicken

Put the spit on the grill, start the motor spinning, and make sure the drip pan is centered beneath the chicken. Close the lid and cook until the chicken reaches 160°F in the thickest part of the breast, about 1 hour.

5. Drip pan potatoes

As soon as the chicken goes on the grill, toss the potatoes with the salt and aji paste in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for six minutes. Set the potatoes aside until the chicken has been cooking for 30 minutes, then remove the plastic wrap and pour the potatoes into the drip pan under the chicken. Cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they are browned and crispy, about 30 minutes. (The potatoes should be done about the same time as the chicken.)

5. Serve

Remove the chicken from the rotisserie spit and remove the twine trussing the chicken. Be careful – the spit and forks are blazing hot. Remove the drip pan, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to a platter. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes, carve, and serve.

Notes

  • As you can see in the pictures, I doubled the chicken part of the recipe. I love having leftover chicken later in the week.
  • If you can’t find Aji Amarillo paste (or aren’t willing to spend $10 to have a jar shipped, which is what I had to do), substitute a stemmed and seeded jalapeno. It won’t have the same taste, but it will give some pepper and heat flavors to the sauce.

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Click here for my other rotisserie recipes.


Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.

Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
plus 50 (mostly) new recipes to get you cooking.

Available in paperback,
or as a Kindle e-book, so you can download it and start reading immediately!


*Enjoyed this post? Want to help out DadCooksDinner? Subscribe to DadCooksDinner using the RSS or Email options on the right, recommend DadCooksDinner to your friends, buy something from Amazon.com through the links on this site, or donate through my tip jar. Thank you.



21 Comments

  1. Jerry R /

    Wow, that looks amazing! I haven’t had any Peruvian chicken myself yet, so I’ll have to give this a try! I’ll probably just have to use a jalapeno though, unfortunately 🙁
    But in any case, this delicious food just makes me want to go to Peru more and more, I hope a machu picchu tour guide can get me food like this all over!

  2. Chris Lukowski /

    N00b question: to reheat whole chicken pieces do you prefer to heat it in the oven / toaster oven, or do you just nuke it in the microwave?

  3. I nuke it – I get impatient waiting for the oven to reheat it.

  4. How did your peruvian chicken taste? Looks very delicious. Was the expensive Aji worth the price as I also will have buy online. Thanks for your blog very helpful.

  5. It tasted great. Was the Aji worth it? I’m glad I tried it…but I don’t think I will spend that much for another jar.

  6. aster /

    What would you substitute, if you were going to go without the paste?

  7. A stemmed, seeded, and minced jalapeno – the paste has a green pepper/spice flavor, and I’ve read that jalapeno is a good substitute.

  8. aster /

    Excellent, thanks!

  9. Heath /

    Thanks Mike, a great post, I love Peruvian style chicken. I still feel like it’s missing a citrus component, but it’s a great recipe. So much so I ordered your cookbook (using your convenient link 🙂 )

    Also, next time you’re in Austin, Fiesta carries aji amarillo for $3.50 a jar.

    Keep up the great work.

  10. gringo a la brasa /

    Mike, I love the site. I am a dad and an avid food nerd; so consider me a fan. I am also a HUGE fan of Pollo a la Brasa and have hunted down this glory of the grill for decades. I started up the HolyPollo.com years ago a vent for this love. Thank you for the credit by the way. Your recipe looks great and I will give it a bash with a bird I have on deck in the fridge. I wanted to make a note for anyone trying get a close as possible on hard to come by ingredients: Huacatay. It a mint common in Central and South America of the tarragon and marigold family. It is hard to find, but I have found it has many culinary uses, so using it is not the hard part. Luckily, similar to the Ahi paste that Mike mentions, it is easy to find it available as a paste. Here is a link on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Peru-Food-Huacatay-Black-Paste/dp/B00AF0GATA That is $10 well spent. Also, I cannot say enough for adding beer to the paste, but that is just me. Thanks again for the cred and the great recipes!

  11. You’re welcome, and thank you for the tips – and darn it, now I have to get some Huacatay. 🙂

  12. Holy Pollo /

    Once you roast your own bird with Huacatay, I promise you won’t go back. A little of that stuff goes a long way. You can get close to the flavor by mixing thai basil, cilantro, and mint, but it is not quite the same. Also, the wood you use with your rotisserie is very important. If you can get your hands on some well seasoned Eucalyptus wood, you are in business. If you are concerned about its sustainability as a harvested hardwood, fear not. Other hardwoods such as Oak and Hickory make good stand-ins. Mileage may vary here as well.

    btw…the chicken was awesome! The kids loved it.

  13. Addingzip.com /

    Great recipe. Used it for the inaugural meal for our new Weber 2290 rotisserie. http://addingzip.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/peruvian-rotisserie-chicken-pollo-a-la-brasa/

  14. Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  15. Can I cook the potatoes in the pan without microwaving them using a.bigger chicken 7 1/2 pounds so they can cook longer

  16. Maybe….but I have problems getting them cooked all the way through in the grill. The heat doesn’t get down to them as much. If you don’t want to use the microwave, try par-boiling them, covered in water, for ten minutes?

  17. I am planning this for a BBQ in a couple of weeks but am afraid that it may be a little to hot/spicy for some of my guests can any one let me know if its a very hot and tasty dish or more just tasty?

  18. I don’t know that I can answer that question, because people have different heat tolerances. Things I consider mild are way too hot for other people.

    That said, this chicken has a little heat to it. I’d call it somewhere between mild and medium, but your mileage may vary.

    If you need no heat whatsoever, use this spice rub instead:

    https://www.dadcooksdinner.com/2014/01/rotisserie-chicken-with-spanish-smoked.html

  19. Scotty Murray /

    Thanks for your great recipes and advice.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

75 Shares
Pin75
Share
Tweet