Ají de Gallina (Spanish for chili pepper chicken) is a traditional Peruvian dish which has its roots in the social upheaval of the French Revolution in 1789.
Chefs working for wealthy families lost their jobs after French aristocrats were imprisoned and executed. Some of these chefs travelled to the New World, including Peru, bringing with them French culinary expertise. Wealthy Peruvian creole families hired them to demonstrate their wealth to the ruling Spaniards. The fusion of local cuisines with French cooking traditions led to many new recipes, including ají de gallina.
This is a shredded chicken dish in a spicy sauce flavored with cheese, garlic, nuts and some heat from peruvian chili peppers.Peruvians love eating this dish on cold days.
- Boil chicken in salted water together with the stock cube. Remove bones and break into bite size pieces, keeping the resulting chicken stock.
- In a saucepan, heat oil and sauté the onion, garlic, and finely chopped chili peppers and add salt and pepper. Fry this until the onions are cooked and golden.
- Soak the bread in two cups of the stock from the boiled chicken and place in a blender for a couple of minutes and then add the resulting liquid to the saucepan.
- Cook slowly for ten minutes. Cook slowly, stirring to thicken.
- Add the chopped pecans, grated cheese, and chicken pieces. Cook until it has a thick creamy texture. About five minutes before serving, add the evaporated milk and continue cooking on low heat.
- Serve over the boiled rice and garnish with halved potatoes, eggs quartered lengthwise, and olives.