Recently for dinner I prepared this dish, from Giada de Laurentiis’s cookbook Weeknights with Giada. The sauce is admittedly unusual in terms of its composition, but tastes very good. I think I would try to make it spicier next time. The texture of the processed walnuts and the unique green-yellow color from the aji amarillo and turmeric made me think I would not enjoy it, but I did. I believe next time I will use skinless and boneless chicken, as this time I used skin-on and bone-in thighs and it just made it a bit more trouble in the dish. As usual, just iPhone pics, so not the best quality, and I have the cookbook at the bottom which is an affiliate link.
Chicken with Peruvian chile sauce
Serves 4 to 6
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 slice whole wheat sandwich bread, crust removed, torn into 1/2-inch pieces (I used GF bread)
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
- 1 slice or 2 small shallots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400*F.
- Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil. Rub the chicken on all sides with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each piece of chicken registers 160*F. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the bread and half-and-half in the bowl of a food processor. Allow the bread to soak up the liquid, about 10 minutes.
- In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until aromatic. Cool slightly and add to the food processor with the soaked bread. Add the broth, cheese, 1/2 cup walnuts, aji amarillo paste, and turmeric. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the sauce back into the skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt.
- Spoon the sauce onto a platter and arrange the chicken on top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup cup walnuts and the cilantro and serve.