Peruvian-Style Chicken with Green Sauce
This Peruvian Inspired Chicken with Green Sauce has become my go to chicken dish that works just as well for weeknight dinner as it does for feeding a big crowd. The chicken is marinated in a blend of spices, baked until tender and served with a creamy green sauce that’s packed with bold flavors including jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice. This Peruvian Chicken recipe is Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Grain Free, Gluten Free and Dairy Free.
WHY YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS PERUVIAN CHICKEN RECIPE?
- This is truly the best chicken, it’s my go to chicken marinade that I make every week! It’s not too spicy, full of flavor and is great to have cooked in the fridge for quick meals.
- The combination of spiced chicken and refreshing sauce is a match made in heaven! I best the green sauce will become your new favourite sauce that you will want to serve with just about everything!
- This recipe is incredibly adaptable, you can adjust the quantities of spice depending on what you prefer
- This spicy Peruvian style Chicken works just as well for weeknight dinner as it does for feeding a big crowd. Everyone always raves about how tasty it is.
- No one would ever guess that this peruvian chicken is a whole30 compliant recipe, paleo, grain free, gluten free and dairy free too!
WHAT IS PERUVIAN CHICKEN?
Peruvian Chicken (aka Pollo a la Brasa) is traditionally made by coating a whole chicken in spices and roasting it over and open fire. The chicken is served with a green sauce (called Aji Verde Sauce) that is mayonnaise based and made using a chili called Aji Amarillo but unfortunately it can be difficult to find. For this Peruvian inspired chicken recipe I used chicken thighs in place of a whole chicken which is baked in the oven and for the green sauce a jalapeno is used for spice.
WHAT SPICES ARE USED FOR THIS CHICKEN?
The Peruvian Chicken marinade ingredients are a combination of warm spices and herbs plus extra virgin olive oil, garlic and lemon. The marinade is made with the following spices:
Oregano: I recommend using dried oregano rather than fresh
Paprika: You can use basic paprika or smoked paprika
Cayenne: If you don’t have cayenne, chili powder would also work
Garlic Powder and Onion Powder
Thyme: Fresh or dried works. 1 tsp dried thyme equals 3 tsp of chopped fresh thyme
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
For quantities of each please check the recipe card below.
HOW SPICY IS THE PERUVIAN CHICKEN?
This Whole30 Peruvian Chicken is only mildly spicy. Feel free to add in more cayenne if you like the chicken with more of a kick to it. If you are serving this spiced Peruvian Chicken to kids or anyone who is spice sensitive I would recommend only using half a teaspoon of cayenne.
HOW LONG SHOULD THE CHICKEN MARINATE?
I recommend leaving the chicken to marinate overnight in the refrigerator for the best flavour. If you are short on time don’t stress, the chicken cooks in the spices so it will still have a lot of flavour. Due to the acid in the marinade (lemon juice) do not leave the chicken to marinate for longer than 24 hours, after which point the acid will cause the meat to become mushy and stringy.
CAN I USE OTHER CUTS OF CHICKEN IN THIS PERUVIAN CHICKEN RECIPE?
Definitely, this spicy Peruvian Chicken recipe is super versatile and can be used on other cuts of chicken. I love the flavour of boneless skinless chicken thighs, but chicken breasts would work well too. You could also use bone-in cuts of chicken such as drumsticks or bone in thighs although the cook time will need to be longer. I recommend the following cooking time:
Boneless Chicken Breasts: 25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Drumsticks: 40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Bone-in Thighs: 45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
I recommend using an instant-read thermometer to check that the chicken is cooked through. The chicken is done when it has an internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit.
WHAT TYPE OF BAKING DISH SHOULD I USE?
I recommend using a baking dish or roasting pan that is approximately 7 x 11 inches in size so the thighs can snuggly fit without overlapping.
CAN I COOK THIS PERUVIAN CHICKEN ON THE BBQ?
This whole30 Peruvian Chicken would be delicious grilled on the barbecue! I recommend cooking the chicken on medium-high heat for 5 minutes per side. Brush the chicken thighs with any excess marinade while it cooks for maximum flavour. If you are unsure about whether the chicken is cooked through, I recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.
WHAT’S IN THE GREEN SAUCE?
This green sauce is light and refreshing and delicious paired with the spicy paleo Peruvian Chicken. It can quickly be made by combining everything in a blender or mini food processor and blending until smooth. You can make this sauce a day or two in advance and set aside in the fridge until it’s ready to serve. This peruvian green sauce is made with 5 ingredients, but feel free to adjust the quantities of ingredients depending on how spicy/zesty/herby you like.
Mayonnaise: You can use homemade or store bought. If you have an egg allergy feel free to use vegan mayonnaise or toum. I have a few friends who hate mayonnaise and make this sauce regularly with sour cream and say its delicious.
Jalapeño Peppers: One jalapeno gives this sauce a good kick of spice. Feel free to add 2 jalapeño peppers if you like it spicy, or use only half and remove the seeds if you would like it to be mild.
Lime Juice: I recommend using fresh lime juice for the best flavour but bottled lime juice also works. If you don’t have lime juice, you can use lemon juice in its place
Garlic Cloves: Use a clove or garlic, nothing from a jar!
Fresh Cilantro: I absolutely love cilantro but I know that some people can’t stand the taste (genetics cause this!) so if you prefer, parsley can be used instead. I add a whole bunch of cilantro (both stems and leaves) to the blender.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS PERUVIAN CHICKEN
The accompanying green sauce is the real star of the recipe but this Peruvian Chicken can be served with just about anything! I love eating it with a big fresh salad like this Creamy Kale salad or this Classic Coleslaw or my personal favourite is with a big Caesar Salad with a vegan salad dressing but a simple lettuce salad with cucumber and tomatoes also works well. You can also serve it with grilled veggies such as asparagus, zucchini or eggplant.
WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVERS?
Leftover paleo Peruvian-style Chicken will last for up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge or can be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow frozen chicken to thaw in the fridge and then reheat it in the oven at 400 degrees for 8 minutes until warmed through. The spicy cilantro sauce will last for 4 days in the fridge.
Here are a few more easy chicken recipes that you might enjoy:
- Seared Chicken Thighs in Garlic & Herb Sauce
- Sun-dried Tomato Marinated Chicken
- Honey Mustard Chicken
- Lemon & Herb Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Chicken with an Easy Spiced Marinade
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce
- 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (approx 8-10 thighs)
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Place the chicken thighs in a ziploc bag. In a bowl whisk together all of the ingredients from garlic to olive oil. Pour the marinade over the chicken and place in the fridge to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours and ideally overnight.
- To make the sauce, in a blender combine all of the ingredients for the green sauce and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the chicken thighs in a 7 x 11 inch baking dish and pour any of the excess marinade from the bag overtop. Place the chicken in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, after 15 minutes flip the chicken over and cook for another 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit). Serve the chicken with the green sauce on the side