Peruvian Roasted Chicken With Spicy Cilantro Sauce


Peruvian Roasted Chicken With Spicy Cilantro Sauce

Peruvian Roasted Chicken With Spicy Cilantro Sauce

With its beautifully bronzed skin, rich flavors, and a delightful kick of spiciness, it's no wonder that Peruvian chicken has captured the hearts of many in the United States. This dish has become an obsession. While there are numerous ways to prepare it, most recipes rely on two specific Peruvian chili pastes – aji amarillo and aji panca – to provide the essential complexity and heat.
You can typically find these ingredients at South American markets or purchase them online. However, in a pinch, you can substitute a red chili paste (such as sriracha or sambal) for the aji amarillo and ground pasilla chili powder for the aji panca. While this substitution won't deliver the traditional flavors, the chicken will still be incredibly delicious – particularly when paired with the irresistibly creamy and spicy cilantro sauce served alongside.
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4


For the Chicken:

  • 6 cloves of garlic finely grated or minced
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of aji amarillo paste or an alternative chili paste like sriracha or sambal
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of aji panca paste or 1 teaspoon of pasilla chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 1 3½- to 4½-pound chicken, halved (Refer to Note) or 4 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  • Extra-virgin olive oil as needed

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup of cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3 to 4 jalapeños seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup 1 ounce of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • tablespoons of lime juice with more for adjusting the taste
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh oregano or basil
  • ¾ teaspoon of fine sea salt with more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon of aji amarillo or an alternative chili paste Refer to the Note)
  • ½ teaspoon of honey
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lime wedges for garnish


  • To prepare the marinade, mix minced garlic, soy sauce, aji amarillo paste, lime juice, aji panca paste, mustard, cumin, pepper, and salt in a spacious bowl.
  • Add the chicken halves to the bowl, ensuring they are thoroughly coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or marinate it for up to 12 hours for enhanced flavor.
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take the chicken out of the marinade and use paper towels to pat them dry. Arrange the chicken halves skin-side up on a rimmed baking sheet, then drizzle them with olive oil.
  • Roast the chicken in the oven until the skin turns golden and the chicken is completely cooked, which should take approximately 35 to 45 minutes (if using chicken parts, consider removing the breasts after 25 to 35 minutes). Once done, remove the chicken from the oven and let it sit, loosely covered with foil, for about 10 minutes before serving.
  • You can prepare the sauce while the chicken is in the oven roasting. Combine cilantro, jalapeños, crumbled feta cheese, chopped garlic, lime juice, oregano, salt, mustard, aji amarillo paste, honey, and cumin in a blender. Blend until you achieve a smooth consistency. With the blender running, gradually pour the olive oil until the mixture emulsifies. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with more salt, lime juice, or both, according to your preference.
  • Once the chicken is ready, carve it and serve it with the sauce on the side, accompanied by lime wedges for an extra zesty touch.


To cut a chicken in half, use sturdy poultry shears to cut lengthwise through the breastbone. Flip it over and make a second cut along the backbone. You can also cut along the opposite side of the backbone and eliminate it.