RECIPE: Peruvian Chicken with Chile Sauces

Peruvian Chicken with Mashed Plantains and Chile Sauce

Peruvian spit-roasted chicken, or Pollo a la Brasa, is an iconic South American dish, and this grilled version delivers flavourful, tender and juicy chicken every time. The two accompanying sauces — featuring ají amarillo and ají rocoto chilies — offer hot and tangy counterpoints.

Prep Time: 20 min + 3 hours refrigeration
Cook Time: 50 min
Makes: 8 servings


For the Peruvian Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 lb/2 kg), quartered
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) white vinegar
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) water
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) ají amarillo paste
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) ají panca paste
  • 12 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) McCormick Gourmet Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) McCormick Gourmet Coarse Grind Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Club House Ground Mustard
  • For the Green Chile Sauce:
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) ají amarillo paste
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) white vinegar
  • 1 peeled garlic clove

For the Creamy Rocoto Sauce:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) ají rocoto paste
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime peel
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) McCormick Gourmet Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) McCormick Gourmet Oregano Leaves


1. For the Peruvian Chicken, place chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Mix all remaining chicken ingredients in small bowl. Add marinade to chicken; turn to coat well. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight for extra flavour.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the two sauces. For the Green Sauce, place all ingredients in blender container; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth. For the Rocoto Sauce, mix all ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Cover and refrigerate both sauces until ready to serve.

3. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat (275°F/135°C to 300°F/150°C). Preheat grill by turning all burners to medium. Turn off burner(s) on one side. Remove chicken from marinade and place on unlit side of grill. Discard any remaining marinade. Close grill.

4. Grill 40 to 45 minutes or until internal temperature of thickest part of chicken is 165°F (74°C), turning occasionally. Move chicken to lit side of grill with skin side down. Turn lit side of grill to high.

5. Grill, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes longer or until chicken is charred. Cut chicken into serving size pieces. Serve chicken with Green Chile Sauce and Creamy Rocoto Sauce, and lime wedges, if desired.


  • If grilling isn’t an option, try this oven-cooked alternative: Marinate chicken as directed. Place chicken on rack in roasting pan. Roast in preheated 375ºF (190°C) oven 50 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • To maintain medium-low heat (275°F/135°C to 300°F/150°C), keep lid closed and adjust lit burner as necessary. Directions were developed using a gas grill. Grills vary; cooking time is approximate.
  • Ají amarillo paste, ají panca paste and ají rocoto paste are made from Peruvian peppers ranging from mild to hot. They can be found in Latin markets, online specialty stores or the Latin aisle of some supermarkets.
  • For a delicious Peruvian-inspired meal, serve with Spiced Mashed Plantains