Peruvian Aji de Gallina (Creamy Chicken Chili Stew)


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Traditional Peruvian Aji de Gallina is a creamy and spicy chicken chili stew that makes the best comfort food! This delicious creamy sauce made with Peruvian chili peppers, parmesan, pecans, and milk will knock your socks off!

Peruvian Aji de Gallina

I swear this is the ugliest dish to photograph! 🙈😫 I tried my best, but I feel like there’s no way to make a pretty picture of aji de gallina. Huh!

But it doesn’t matter, it can be ugly as long as it’s tasty, and this chicken dish is terrific! The creamy chicken chili stew is slightly spicy, comforting, and just delicious!

If you’ve never heard about it, aji de gallina is one of the most popular and loved Peruvian dishes. It’s a kind of stew made with chicken, Peruvian chili peppers, pecans, parmesan, bread, and milk. It’s always served with rice and yellow potatoes, sometimes also with a boiled egg and black olives.

This recipe is inspired by aji de gallina of Gaston Acurio, well-known Peruvian chef, but I modified it to fit my taste.

Traditional Peruvian Aji de Gallina is a creamy and spicy chicken chili stew that makes the best comfort food! This delicious creamy sauce made with Peruvian chili peppers, parmesan, pecans, and milk will knock your socks off!

What you need

Authentic Peruvian aji de gallina calls for Peruvian chilli peppers:

  • Aji Amarillo – this is one of the most important and common ingredients in Peruvian cuisine. It’s a key ingredient in many Peruvian dishes, including this aji de gallina. It has a unique, fruity flavor, and isn’t extremely spicy.
  • Aji Mirasol – it’s basically dried aji amarillo. It has an intense flavor.
  • Aji Panca – it’s another Peruvian chili pepper. It has a dark red color, and mild, smokey flavor.
Can you make aji de gallina without Peruvian chili peppers?

As with almost every dish, you can use substitutes. However, it won’t be exactly the same. Authentic Peruvian aji de gallina requires using Peruvian aji amarillo, aji mirasol, and aji panca – fresh or in a paste. These chili peppers give a specific, unique taste to the dish.

To make aji de gallina without Peruvian chili peppers, use other chili peppers you can find (eg. jalapeΓ±o) and yellow/orange bell pepper for color. I included steps for preparing aji de gallina without Peruvian chili peppers in the recipe.

Additional, you will need:

  • Chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
  • Bread – plain white bread.
  • Evaporated milk or regular milk.
  • Chicken broth.
  • Grated parmesan.
  • Onion and garlic.
  • Pecans or walnuts, almonds, peanuts.
  • Cumin, dried oregano, turmeric, salt, and pepper – to season the stew.
  • Cooked rice and potatoes to serve, optionally also a boiled egg and black olives.
  • Fresh parsley.

Now, let’s take a look how to prepare it!

Traditional Peruvian Aji de Gallina is a creamy and spicy chicken chili stew that makes the best comfort food! This delicious creamy sauce made with Peruvian chili peppers, parmesan, pecans, and milk will knock your socks off!

How to make aji de gallina

Preparing many Peruvian dishes as, for example, this creamy chicken chili stew may seem a bit complicated at first glance. However, once you try it, you’ll see that making aji de gallina at home is easy, with a nice flow, and not difficult at all!

There are 3 steps:

  • cooking the chicken breast and shredding,
  • preparing the sauce,
  • and combining it all together. 

The only prerequisite to prepare Peruvian aji de gallina is to have a blender.

Here’s the overview of the process:

  • Place chicken breasts in a pot and cover with water. Season with salt. Bring to boil and cook for around 25 minutes. Remove from the water, let it cool down a bit, and divide into smaller pieces. 💥 TIP💥 Add additional ingredients like eg. a piece of carrot, onion, celery, parsley, bay leaves, black pepper to the pot, and cook it along with a chicken to make a broth that you’re going to use later.
  • While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare your ingredients: chop the onion and garlic, soak bread in milk, chop pecans, grate parmesan, chop parsley. 💥 TIP💥 At this moment, start cooking rice and potatoes to have it ready for serving. You can cook potatoes in the microwave to make things quicker.
  • Now, it’s time to prepare the sauce. Heat a large skillet or pan over medium heat with a little bit of oil. Cook onion and garlic until soft. Add all the spices and aji peppers. Simmer all together for 2-3 minutes stirring often.
  • Transfer the mixture to the blender, add soaked bread with all the milk, chopped pecans, and grated parmesan. Blend everything together until smooth. 💥 TIP💥 If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of broth or milk.
  • Transfer the sauce back to the pan, add broth, and shredded chicken. Simmer energetically and stir often for a few minutes, until the sauce is thick.
  • Top with fresh, chopped parsley and serve!

If you like this recipe, you should check my other Peruvian recipes! πŸ™‚

Traditional Peruvian Aji de Gallina is a creamy and spicy chicken chili stew that makes the best comfort food! This delicious creamy sauce made with Peruvian chili peppers, parmesan, pecans, and milk will knock your socks off!

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AuthorEwaCategory, , DifficultyIntermediate

Traditional Peruvian Aji de Gallina is a creamy and spicy chicken chili stew that makes the best comfort food! This delicious creamy sauce made with Peruvian chili peppers, parmesan, pecans, and milk will knock your socks off!

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time45 mins

Click on the servings to scale the recipe to your needs.

Click a timer link in the recipe to start a countdown clock.Β 

In all my recipes 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml, 1 tablespoon equals 15 ml, 1 cup equals 250 ml. Spoons and cups are lightly packed.

Aji de gallina with Peruvian chili peppers
 2 Chicken breasts (600-700 g)
 1 Red onion
 3 Garlic cloves
 3 Slices of white bread
 1 cup Evaporated milk (or regular milk)
 2 cups Chicken broth
 4 tbsp Finely chopped pecans (or walnuts, almonds, peanuts)
 4 tbsp Aji mirasol paste
 2 tbsp Aji amarillo paste
 1 tsp Aji panca paste
 ½ tsp Cumin
 ½ tsp Dried oregano
 ½ tsp Turmeric
 Salt and black pepper
 Oil
 Fresh, chopped parsley
 Cooked rice and potatoes to serve
Aji de gallina without Peruvian chili peppers
 All the ingredients as above (without Peruvian chili peppers)
 2 Chili peppers (eg. jalapeno)
 1 Orange/yellow bell pepper

Aji de gallina
1

Place chicken breasts in a pot and cover with water. Season with salt. Bring to boil and cook for around 25 minutes.

TIP: Add additional ingredients like eg. a piece of carrot, onion, celery, parsley, bay leaves, black pepper to the pot, and cook it along with a chicken to make a broth that you're going to use later.

2

Remove from the water, let it cool down a bit, and divide into smaller pieces.

3

While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare your ingredients: chop the onion and garlic, soak bread in milk, chop pecans, grate parmesan, chop parsley. If using other chili peppers and bell pepper, chop them too!

TIP: At this moment, start cooking rice and potatoes to have it ready for serving. You can cook potatoes in the microwave to make things quicker.

4

Now, it's time to prepare a sauce. Heat a large skillet or pan over medium heat with a little bit of oil. Cook onion and garlic until soft. Add all the spices (cumin, oregano, turmeric, black pepper) and aji peppers (or chopped chili peppers and bell pepper). Simmer all together for 3 minutes, stirring often. If using chopped chili peppers and bell pepper, cook it a bit longer.

5

Transfer the mixture to the blender, add soaked bread with all the milk, chopped pecans, and grated parmesan. Blend everything together until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of broth or milk.

6

Transfer the sauce back to the pan, add broth, and shredded chicken. Simmer energetically and stir often for a few minutes, until the sauce is thick.

7

Top with fresh, chopped parsley and serve!

Ingredients

Aji de gallina with Peruvian chili peppers
 2 Chicken breasts (600-700 g)
 1 Red onion
 3 Garlic cloves
 3 Slices of white bread
 1 cup Evaporated milk (or regular milk)
 2 cups Chicken broth
 4 tbsp Finely chopped pecans (or walnuts, almonds, peanuts)
 4 tbsp Aji mirasol paste
 2 tbsp Aji amarillo paste
 1 tsp Aji panca paste
 ½ tsp Cumin
 ½ tsp Dried oregano
 ½ tsp Turmeric
 Salt and black pepper
 Oil
 Fresh, chopped parsley
 Cooked rice and potatoes to serve
Aji de gallina without Peruvian chili peppers
 All the ingredients as above (without Peruvian chili peppers)
 2 Chili peppers (eg. jalapeno)
 1 Orange/yellow bell pepper

Directions

Aji de gallina
1

Place chicken breasts in a pot and cover with water. Season with salt. Bring to boil and cook for around 25 minutes.

TIP: Add additional ingredients like eg. a piece of carrot, onion, celery, parsley, bay leaves, black pepper to the pot, and cook it along with a chicken to make a broth that you're going to use later.

2

Remove from the water, let it cool down a bit, and divide into smaller pieces.

3

While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare your ingredients: chop the onion and garlic, soak bread in milk, chop pecans, grate parmesan, chop parsley. If using other chili peppers and bell pepper, chop them too!

TIP: At this moment, start cooking rice and potatoes to have it ready for serving. You can cook potatoes in the microwave to make things quicker.

4

Now, it's time to prepare a sauce. Heat a large skillet or pan over medium heat with a little bit of oil. Cook onion and garlic until soft. Add all the spices (cumin, oregano, turmeric, black pepper) and aji peppers (or chopped chili peppers and bell pepper). Simmer all together for 3 minutes, stirring often. If using chopped chili peppers and bell pepper, cook it a bit longer.

5

Transfer the mixture to the blender, add soaked bread with all the milk, chopped pecans, and grated parmesan. Blend everything together until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of broth or milk.

6

Transfer the sauce back to the pan, add broth, and shredded chicken. Simmer energetically and stir often for a few minutes, until the sauce is thick.

7

Top with fresh, chopped parsley and serve!

Peruvian Aji de Gallina (Creamy Chicken Chili)

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Traditional Peruvian Aji de Gallina is a creamy and spicy chicken chili stew that makes the best comfort food! This delicious creamy sauce made with Peruvian chili peppers, parmesan, pecans, and milk will knock your socks off!

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6 Comments

  1. Helen at the Lazy Gastronome 21 July 2019 at 13:41

    This looks like a deliciously satisfying meal! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party! Have a fabulous week.

    Reply
    1. Ewa 21 July 2019 at 16:30

      Have a gorgeous week too! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Jasmine | Midsummer Life Dream 24 July 2019 at 08:15

    This looks delicious! It’s too hot right now for this, but I’m going to save the recipe to try when it cools down some!

    Reply
    1. Ewa 24 July 2019 at 08:34

      Sure! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Patrice | Cardamom Magazine 25 July 2019 at 19:25

    This looks wonderful! I’ve tried Peruvian food before but never this recipe. Just pinned it to Pinterest. Found you through the What’s for Dinner roundup.

    Reply
    1. Ewa 26 July 2019 at 11:17

      Thanks Patrice! You have to give it a try! πŸ™‚

      Reply

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