Sabor de Peru: Ají de Gallina, Seco Norteño, Pollo Saltado Recipe

A Hearty Meal

Though every culture has its own unique traditions and cuisines, the concept of “comfort food” is universal. The following are recipes from local restaurants that evoke the traditions and comfort of a hearty meal from their own culinary corner of the globe. 

Photography by Rich Smith 

Ají Peruvian Restaurant

 

Pilar Albernas making a dish at Ají Peruvian Restaurant

 

“This is one of our favorite dishes because you can sample three different dishes. These three different comfort foods bring back memories of home for me and take me back to when my mom would make these dishes growing up. I am so very glad that we are able to share these traditional flavors, comfort foods, and diversity to this beautiful community that we’ve been a part of for the last 10 years.” – Pilar Albernas, Owner

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flavors of peru dish from Ají Peruvian Restaurant

Sabor de Peru (Flavor of Peru) Recipes

 

For the Ají de Gallina (Shredded Chicken Breast in Spicy Cheese Sauce): 

Ingredients
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 3 Tbsp. Ají Amarillo (Peruvian Yellow Pepper)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 baguette, soaked in chicken breast stock and blended
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 boiled potatoes

 

Directions

Cut chicken breast into pieces and put to boil in 3 cups of water. Once chicken is fully cooked, let cool and then shred. Fry the onions in oil until golden. Add Ají Amarillo, minced garlic, black pepper, cumin, and salt. Add blended bread. Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese. Add shredded chicken and cook for 10 minutes while stirring. Peel and slice boiled potatoes. Serve Ají de Gallina over top of the sliced potatoes.

 

For the Seco Norteño (Northern-style Peruvian Slow-Cooked Beef Stew):

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Ají Amarillo (Peruvian Yellow Pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp. Ají Panca (Peruvian Red Pepper)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste
  • 2 bunches cilantro, chopped, with some reserved for garnish
  • 1 lb. inside round beef
  • 1/2 cup beer
Directions

Fry onions until golden. Add Ají Amarillo, Ají Panca, garlic, salt, cumin, and part of the chopped cilantro. Cut beef in medium pieces and place meat in the pot. Add beer and cook on low until tender. Garnish with cilantro when serving. 

 

For the Pollo Saltado (Stir Fried Chicken):

Ingredients
  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cut in strips
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 onion, sliced in wedges
  • 1 tomato, sliced in wedges
  • 3 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
Directions

Add cumin, garlic, and salt to chicken. Sauté seasoned chicken for a few minutes or until mostly cooked. Then add onions, tomatoes, and cilantro and cook until onions are slightly tender. Add 1-2 tbsp of water and soy sauce. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes and take off stove. Garnish with cilantro.

Note: Saltado is typically served on top of French fries.

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Sabor de Peru dish from Ají Peruvian Restaurant

Sabor de Peru (Flavor of Peru)

Ají Peruvian Restaurant
Course Main Course
Cuisine Peruvian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

For the Ají Gallina:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 3 Tbsp. Ají Amarillo (Peruvian Yellow Pepper)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 baguette, soaked in chicken breast stock and blended
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 boiled potatoes

For the Seco Norteño:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Ají Amarillo (Peruvian Yellow Pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp. Ají Panca (Peruvian Red Pepper)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste
  • 2 bunches cilantro, chopped with some reserved for garnish
  • 1 lb. inside round beef
  • ½ cup beer

For the Pollo Saltado:

  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cut in strips
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 onion, sliced in wedges
  • 3 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce

Instructions
 

For the Ají Gallina:

  • Cut chicken breast into pieces and put to boil in 3 cups of water. Once chicken is fully cooked, let cool and then shred.
  • Fry the onions in oil until golden. Add Ají Amarillo, minced garlic, black pepper, cumin, and salt. Add blended bread.
  • Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese. Add shredded chicken and cook for 10 minutes while stirring.
  • Peel and slice boiled potatoes. Serve Ají de Gallina over top of the sliced potatoes.

For the Seco Norteño:

  • Fry onions until golden.
  • Add Ají Amarillo, Ají Panca, garlic, salt, cumin, and part of the chopped cilantro.
  • Cut beef in medium pieces and place meat in the pot. Add beer and cook on low until tender.
  • Garnish with cilantro when serving. 

For the Pollo Saltado:

  • Add cumin, garlic, and salt to chicken. Sauté seasoned chicken for a few minutes or until mostly cooked.
  • Then add onions, tomatoes, and cilantro and cook until onions are slightly tender.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp of water and soy sauce. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes and take off stove.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

Notes

For Pollo Saltado: Saltado is typically served on top of French fries.
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Translations:
Ají de Gallina: Shredded Chicken Breast in Spicy Cheese Sauce
Seco Norteño: Northern-style Peruvian Slow-cooked Beef Stew
Pollo Saltado: Stir Fried Chicken
 
 
Keyword Ají peppers, beef, chicken, comfort food, latin american, peru
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