Peruvian Chicken

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5 from 67 votes
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This Peruvian chicken recipe features marinated chicken thighs baked until tender and served with a creamy, slightly spicy aji verde sauce. Grill and air fryer methods included!

Hungry for more chicken recipes? Try my Huli Huli chicken, marry me chicken, and firecracker chicken next.

peru chicken.

My Peruvian-style chicken recipe is proof that a simple sauce can transform the common chicken thigh into an elegant yet simple dish. The sauce alone is good enough to bottle!

What is Peruvian chicken?

Also known as pollo a la brasa, this recipe originates in Peru and features chicken thighs marinated in a blend of citrus, garlic, herbs, and spices. The chicken is then roasted until crisp and served with a tangy, creamy green sauce called aji verde.

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make Peruvian chicken
  4. Alternative cooking methods
  5. Arman’s recipe tips
  6. Storage instructions
  7. What to serve with this recipe
  8. Peruvian Chicken (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Minimal marinating time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to marinate my chicken until the last minute. Well, this recipe doesn’t require an extended marinating time, yet the chicken absorbs so much flavor. 
  • It’s so flavorful. Light, citrusy, herbaceous, and a touch spicy, this chicken recipe has it all. 
  • The perfect weeknight dinner. Making this recipe takes no more time than a simple roasted chicken dish, but it’s filled with new flavors. 
  • Multiple cooking methods. I prefer the classic roasting method, but I went ahead and tested the grill and air fryer methods, too!

Ingredients needed

  • Chicken thighs. I used skinless boneless chicken thighs, but skin-on is fine too. You can also use chicken breasts or a whole chicken for this recipe. 
  • Garlic. Preferably fresh cloves, chopped. 
  • Olive oil. To crisp the exterior of the chicken. 
  • Lemons. Use both the lemon juice and lemon zest. 
  • Spices. I used paprika, cumin, oregano, and ground black pepper.
  • Salt. To taste. 

For the green sauce (aji verde)

  • Cilantro. Try to remove as many stems as possible, as I’ve noticed they can become stringy in the sauce. 
  • Garlic. Finely chopped. Use more or less garlic, depending on your preference.
  • Jalapeno. Use bigger jalapeños for mild spice or smaller jalapeños for more spice. Leaving the seeds in will also make the sauce much spicier. 
  • Lime juice. For tanginess and acidity. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil. To blend the sauce and add richness. 
  • Sour cream. I used sour cream for a creamy, tangy flavor, but you can also use mayonnaise. 
  • Salt. To taste.

How to make Peruvian chicken

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Prep work. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking dish with parchment paper. 

Step 2- Marinate the chicken. In a large bowl, add the garlic cloves, oil, spices, lemon, and salt, and mix. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat.

marinated chicken.

Step 3- Roast the chicken. Place the chicken thighs, skin side up, onto the baking pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. 

peruvian chicken.

Step 4- Make the aji verde. Add the sauce ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. 

aji verde.

Step 5- Serve. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes, then serve with a drizzle of sauce on top. 

chicken with green sauce.

Alternative cooking methods

As I mentioned, I prefer roasting my chicken for this recipe, but I did test other methods as well because I love a challenge.

Grill method: Preheat the grill on medium-high heat and cook the marinated chicken on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden. Periodically baste the chicken in the remaining marinade to keep it juicy, and continue cooking until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. 

Air fryer method: Lightly grease an air fryer basket and preheat it to 375F. Place the marinated chicken in the air fryer basket in an even layer. Air fry for 18-20 minutes, stopping halfway through to flip the chicken.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • If you’re using a whole chicken, make sure to spatchcock it first so it cooks evenly. I explain how to do that in my spatchcock chicken recipe.
  • Keep an eye on the chicken. Boneless chicken thighs cook faster than bone-in thighs, so check often and pull the chicken from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. 
  • Spice it up. If you can handle the heat, swap the jalapeños for serrano peppers, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!
  • Swap the sour cream. Use Greek yogurt or mayo instead. 
  • For a more authentic flavor, swap the jalapeños for aji amarillo paste.

Storage instructions

To store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to five days. 

To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled leftover chicken in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to six months. 

peruvian chicken with aji verde.

What to serve with this recipe

peruvian chicken recipe.

Peruvian Chicken

5 from 67 votes
This Peruvian chicken recipe features marinated chicken thighs baked until tender and served with a creamy, slightly spicy aji verde sauce. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs skin on
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large lemon juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Green sauce (Aji Verde)

  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 small Jalapeno chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking dish with baking paper (parchment paper).
  • In a mixing bowl, add the garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, along with the juice of a lemon. Add the chicken thighs and mix together until fully coated.
  • Place the chicken thighs, skin on, onto the baking dish and roast for 30-35 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165F.
  • While the chicken is roasting, prepare the green sauce. Add the cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and sour cream to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes, before serving and drizzling the sauce on top.

Notes

STORING CHICKEN: Store leftover Peruvian chicken in the fridge in airtight containers or wrapped in aluminum foil. It will last up to 4 days in the fridge. Reheat in the oven wrapped in foil.
STORING GREEN SAUCE: The leftover green sauce should also be stored in the refrigerator, covered, and it will keep for up to one week. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 264kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 16gFat: 21gSodium: 299mgPotassium: 270mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 450IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 2g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Peruvian
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published October 2022, updated and republished May 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely fabulous; liked that the chicken did not need a lengthy marinating time. For 5 pieces of chicken we had a lot of leftover sauce. Next time I make this recipe I will make only have of the sauce.
    Recipe will be in my permanent rotation.
    Thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this and love it. So tasty. Minor modifications: 1) did not use jalapeño in sauce but still tastes wonderful. 2) used skinless thighs and cut them in half then cooked in air fryer at 400 and only 5 minutes per side in consideration of smaller pieces. 3) marinated chicken in fridge for something like 4 hours.

    Will be new stand by. Thanks

  3. Upur directions state to line a large baking dish with baking powder. Is that correct? I’ve never heard of that before, so I’m a bit confused.Please explain.