Peruvian Spicy Creamed Chicken (Aji De Gallina)
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Recipe adapted from Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.
2 pounds chicken breast
1 celery, trimmed, washed and chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 slices white bread
1 cup milk
1/2 cup olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon yellow Aji chile, Amarillo or Chile powder
cup finely chopped or ground walnuts
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 pounds small potatoes, boiled, peeled and halved
4 hard-boiled eggs, halve
Chopped parsley for garnish
3/4 cup black olives
this dish is served with white rice
1. Place chicken in a large pot and fill with water to halfway up sides of bird. Add celery, onion, carrot, tomato, salt, peppercorns and bay leaves.
2. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until chicken is done.
3. Remove chicken and place in a bowl until cool enough to remove the meat from the bones and shred into small pieces. Meanwhile, strain broth and reserve 4 cups.
4. If you do not want to make your own broth you can buy chicken broth but make sure it is low sodium.
5. Soak the bread in the milk.
6. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and saute for 1 more minute.
7. Add softened bread and aji or chile powder, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring. (For a creamier sauce, place onion-bread mixture in a blender, puree until smooth and return to skillet.)
8. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock and continue cooking until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
9. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 to 8 more minutes, adding more stock if needed. Stir in the walnuts and Parmesan cheese, and simmer gently for another 5 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
10. To serve, spoon chicken and sauce onto a serving platter and surround with potatoes, eggs, and olives. Add chopped parsley. Serve with white rice.
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