Heart Healthy from WakeMed Heart Center

Peruvian Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Sauce

October 17, 2015 |

Recipe courtesy of Sean Fowler
as seen on episode “Chicken”, season 5

For the Peruvian Chicken


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, from 2 limes
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken (3 ½ – 4 lbs.), quartered
  • Garnish: Lime Wedges and Fresh Cilantro

Blend together the first ten ingredients in a blender. Pour the marinade over your chicken in a plastic container. Cover, refrigerate, and allow the chicken to marinate for 6-12 hours.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and light the wood or charcoal in your grill or in a starter chimney. Burn the fuel until the coals are white/gray and the high flames have subsided. Spread your coals over half of your grill. You want your grill to be medium hot. You should be able to hold your hand 5 inches away from the hottest part of your grill for no more than a couple of seconds. If you can hold it there for 5-10 seconds your grill is not hot enough. If you cannot hold it that close at all, your grill is too hot.

Remove the chicken form the marinade and allow the excess marinade to drain from the chicken. Carefully place the chicken on the grill, skin side down. Grill the chicken, flipping occasionally until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 155-160⁰ F at the thickest parts, probably about 15-20 minutes. If the chicken starts getting too dark on the outside move it to the cooler half of the grill or cover the grill to control the flames. When done, remove the chicken form the grill and let it rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Serve the chicken over rice with the Cilantro sauce and cilantro and lime wedges as a garnish.

For the Aji Verde (Cilantro Sauce)


  • 3 whole jalapeños, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh aioli or mayonaise
  • 2 Tbsp crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice, one lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Blend all of ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Cover and refrigerate the sauce until ready to use.

For the Saffron Rice


  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp saffron threads
  • 2 cups Carolina Gold Rice or Basmati Rice
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, brunoised
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium sauce pan, add the saffron, and remove the pan from the heat. Let the saffron steep for 5 minutes. Strain out the saffron threads. Bring the stock back to a simmer. Stir in the rice, peppers, and seasoning. Cover the pan and place it in a 325⁰F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is done. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

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