Pollo a la Brasa with Saucí Verde

Mick Follari

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 45min- 1hr cooking, 8hrs marinade

Pollo a la Brasa is the familiar Peruvian rotisserie found all over the country, and the side sauce served with it is what inspired Saucí Verde to begin with. This version is accessible to home cooks using a grill or just roasting in the oven.

Pollo a la Brasa is a Peruvian staple. In my 25 years of traveling to Peru, on at least a dozen expeditions (as of 2020), it has always been essential pre- and post-expedition food. The blend of flavors in the wet rub charred on a grill or roasted in the oven, meet the brightness of Saucí Verde perfectly. This dish is really the birth of Saucí Verde, as it is always served at the table alongside the chicken and I knew it would be a hit back home.

A couple ingredients in this version of the wet rub require forethought… you’re not likely to find Aji Panca, Huacatay or Aji Amarillo pastes in the local stores. You can order it online, or you can make this dish with alternates and still have a delicious meal. In my case, I am going to write it out with Aji Panca and Amarillo, but not the Huacatay. You could also experiment with other dried herbs in the wet rub to see what twist you’d like to bring to it (rosemary, cayenne, etc). Also note that traditionally, it is made with beer in the wet rub, which I encourage! But I don’t usually do it myself at home.

Ingredients:

Wet Rub:

  • 1⁄3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste
  • 1 teaspoon aji panca paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp huacatay paste (optional)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup dark beer (optional)

Chicken:

  • One whole chicken (about 3 lbs), or the pieces of your choice. I like to get two legs and two whole breasts.

Preparation:

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Rub some marinade under the skin of the chicken pieces, then put the chicken and cover with the marinade in a large ziplock bag, swishing it all around.
  3. Marinade the chicken in the fridge for 6-8 hrs or overnight.
  4. Option 1: roast the chicken. Preheat the oven to 425 deg and roast the chicken on the middle rack, until the internal temp is 165 deg.
  5. Option 2: Grill. Fire up your grill using half or 3 out of 4 burners or make the charcoal mainly to one side.
  6. Lay the chicken out on the non-fire side of the grill for about 30-45 min to cook through, then move it over the fire to char the outside. Make sure the internal temp reaches 165 deg.
  7. Serve with Saucí Verde  on the side or in bowls at the table, and potatoes or french fries and salad.