Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Cilantro Sauce
Burnished-skinned, deeply flavored and more than just a little spicy, it’s no wonder that Peruvian chicken has become something of an obsession here in the United States. There are dozens of way to make this dish, but most recipes call for two different kinds of Peruvian chile pastes — aji amarilla and aji panca — to add the necessary complexity and heat. You can find them at South American markets and online. But in a pinch, you can substitute a red chile paste (like sriracha or sambal) for the aji amarillo, and ground pasilla chile powder for the aji panca. The flavors won’t be traditional, but the chicken will still be tasty — especially when slathered with the irresistibly creamy, spicy cilantro sauce that goes alongside.
- Add chicken halves, turning to coat them all over with marinade. Be sure to get marinade under the skin as well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange skin-side up on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil.
- Roast until skin is golden and chicken is cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes (if using chicken parts, remove the breasts after 25 to 35 minutes). Remove from oven and let sit, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes before serving.
- Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce and lime wedges on the side.
Spatch-Cock the chicken: To cut a chicken in half, use a sturdy pair of poultry shears to cut lengthwise through the breastbone. Turn over and cut again, along the backbone. If desired, cut along the other side of the backbone and remove it.
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