Aji De Gallina (Peruvian Spicy Chicken)
This chile pepper originated in the mountains of South America and Mexico. Because of their appearance they are often called “Manzano” which means apple chile. This pepper can only be grown in these regions at elevations above 5000′ therefore making these very rare in the US.These chiles are unique in that they are the only ones that have black seeds. They are very hot and meaty. Rocotos are chopped and used in salsas or sometimes stuffed with cheese and meat and then baked.
4 pound chicken
4 slices of bread with the crusts trimmed
1/2 cup of oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. ground garlic
3 rocotos or 6 serrano chiles, seeds and stems removed, pureed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound chopped walnuts or pecans
4 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large tin of evaporated milk
6 yellow potatoes, cooked and halved
green olives and hardboiled eggs for garnish
In a large pot of salted water, simmer the chicken until cooked through. Remove the meat from the pot but reserve the stock. Remove the meat from the bones and chop or tear into bite-sized pieces.
Soak the bread in the stock.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion, garlic and chile peppers until golden. Add the chicken soaked bread. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes and add the chopped nuts, grated cheese and chicken pieces. Add the evaporated milk 3 minutes before serving. Garnish with green olives and chopped eggs.
Yields 6 servings.