Peruvian Roasted Chicken With Spicy Cilantro Sauce

This chicken is awesommmmmmme. Marinating it overnight makes for super flavorful meat (garlic. chile. soy sauce. oh my!). But the real winner here is the sauce. I could drink this stuff straight. I put it on everything in sight! The base is cilantro, jalapeño and feta, with a little garlic, lime juice, chile paste and spices. Whip it up in the blender — it’s got some serious heat to it, and so much flavor!

This is another great recipe from NYT Cooking. I made some roasted potatoes alongside, which I couldn’t resist dipping in cilantro sauce as well. The classic taste of roast chicken still gives you the home-y feel, but the sauce takes it to another level.

TW’s Tips

  • Adjust the heat of the green sauce down (by seeding and scraping out the jalapeño peppers) or up (by keeping the seeds and ribs intact. Careful — it’s spicy).
  • Make sure you get a good crisp on the chicken skin. Drizzle with oil as it calls for and if it still needs more crispiness when you’re almost done, broil it for a few minutes at the end.
  • If you particularly like certain chicken parts (thighs, breasts, legs) feel free to modify and use them instead of sticking to the whole chicken called for in the recipe
  • The dip would also be great with vegetables, on sandwiches, with chips…

Enjoy!

Peruvian Roasted Chicken With Spicy Cilantro Sauce

Ingredients

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 6 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste or another chile paste such as sriracha or sambal
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon aji panca paste or 1 teaspoon pasilla chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound) chicken, halved (see Note) or 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3 to 4 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup/1 ounce crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or basil
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon aji amarillo or other chile paste (see headnote)
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

Directions

For the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, soy sauce, aji amarillo paste, lime juice, aji panca paste, mustard, cumin, pepper and salt.

Add chicken halves, turning to coat them all over with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange skin-side up on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil.
Roast until skin is golden and chicken is cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes (if using chicken parts, remove the breasts after 25 to 35 minutes). Remove fro

m oven and let sit, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes before serving.

While chicken is roasting, make the sauce. In a blender, blend cilantro, jalapeños, feta, garlic, lime juice, oregano, salt, mustard, aji amarillo paste, honey, and cumin until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt or lime juice or both.

Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce and lime wedges on the side.

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Lentil Deliciousness

I’m on a bit of a lentil kick lately. They’re easy, tasty and healthy. What’s not to like?

I alluded to last night’s dinner in my last post with the photo of sliced grapes, chopped cilantro and lemon zest. Yum. Yum. Yum. It was a winner.

From Tyler Florence (and one of my favorite cookbooks, Tyler’s Ultimate): Grilled Skirt Steak with Lentils, Cilantro & Grapes.

Super bright flavors with the combination of lemon, cilantro and chile, and the grapes sound weird but they were the perfect contrast to the spicy chile and salty feta. Since I don’t have a grill, I cooked the steak under the broiler and it worked beautifully. I also sliced the chile instead of mincing it as I liked the look of the slices better, but Tyler was right about mincing it — my mouth was on fire with the big bites of chile (and I like a lot of spice, so that’s saying something). Follow the directions on that one, folks. The recipe doesn’t call for chopping the cilantro, but I would.

Plated up, the colors look beautiful, but it tastes even better. Try it. You’ll thank me.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Lentils, Cilantro & Grapes

Ingredients

1 head garlic, sliced horizontally
salt
extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lb steak
black pepper

3 thyme sprigs
1 c lentils
1 garlic clove, smashed (NOT minced or chopped)
1 green chile, minced
zest & juice of 1 lemon

1 bunch cilantro
1 lb green grapes
6 oz feta
black pepper

Directions

1. Heat your oven to 400. Cut a 12″ foil piece and place the garlic on one half and sprinkle with salt, a little olive oil, 2 ts water and 2 sprigs of thyme. Fold to cover and seal. Roast for 30 minutes.
2. Heat a grill to  medium high heat. Wipe the grill quickly with olive oil to create a non-stick surface. Rub the steak with some olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and black pepper.
3. Pour the lentils into a sauce pan and add enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Add the smashed garlic, remaining thyme and 1 ts salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Discard garlic and thyme.
4. When the grill is hot, toss on the steak and cook to medium-rare, 5-7 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes and then cut into thin slices.
5. Place the lentils in a bowl and add the chile, lemon zest & juice, cilantro, grapes, feta and 1/3 c olive oil.  Toss and add salt to taste.
6. On four plates, make a bed of lentils and place the steak slices on top. Drizzle the steak with a little olive oil and black pepper. Serve the roasted garlic on the side.