These super flavourful Peruvian chicken skewers are easy to prep and perfect for grilling outside in the summer. Serve them alongside a delicious, creamy green sauce (aji verde) and be prepared to fight over who gets the last skewer. Or just make extra, because they're that good.
I first tried Peruvian chicken (pollo a la Brasa) recently and couldn't get over the flavours. I knew I had to make it again and again and this recipe will be high on my dinner rotation for good reason. Pollo a la Brasa is a Peruvian style roast chicken that is one of Peru's most popular dishes. It is served with a green sauce known as aji verde that is spicy, creamy and absolutely addicting. Traditionally, the chicken is whole and grilled similar to rotisserie chicken over an open flame. Unfortunately, that isn't attainable for most people (including myself) cooking at home. So for this recipe, we're using Peruvian chicken skewers and grilling them on the bbq. You'll still get plenty of flavour and of course that grilled flavour that can't be beat. If you don't want to do skewers, just grill the chicken thighs whole.
Although the list may look long, you probably have most of the spices and ingredients already. A trip to a Latin-American store is worthwhile here to pick up some aji amarillo paste. This is an essential ingredient and can't really be duplicated with anything else. You can also of course find it on Amazon.
Here's what you'll need to make these Peruvian chicken thighs.
To make the flavourful green aji verde sauce, which I don't recommend skipping, here's what you'll need.
Once you have all your ingredients, making these Peruvian chicken thighs are really easy. It just takes some time to let the chicken marinate and take on all that flavour.
I recommend prepping the chicken the night before for best results, but even a shorter marinade time, like 2-3 hours will still work.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients from the garlic to the black pepper. Mix well to combine.
Season the chicken lightly with kosher salt all over and then add to the bowl and toss to coat. Marinate overnight or for at least a few hours.
When ready to cook, soak the wooden skewers if using ahead of time. Skewer the chicken alternating with the onion until all are done.
Heat the grill to medium-high. Place the chicken skewers on the gill and cook for six minutes with the lid closed. Flip the skewers and cook for an additional six minutes, or until cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
Remove and serve with the green aji amarillo sauce.
The sauce in my opinion really is essential. It's delicious and so, so good served on the side to dip your Peruvian chicken thighs in.
In a food processor, combine all ingredients and process until combined and smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Usually I offer plenty of substitutions, however for this recipe, I don't have a substitution for the aji amarillo paste. It is essential for a more authentic Peruvian chicken recipe.
I share these products to show you what I choose to use in my kitchen as staple ingredients I use daily (or weekly).
I exclusively use Diamond Crystal kosher salt for all of my recipes. I prefer the texture, taste and consistency of this brand and highly recommend it for everyday cooking.
Are you ready to make these? Let's get to it!
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These grilled Peruvian chicken skewers are packed with so much flavour and easy to prepare. Serve it with some delicious aji verde sauce for dipping.
Queso cotija: opt for an aged queso cotija which is firmer and can be grated similar to parmesan. If you can't find that, use a fresher cotija which will crumble similar to feta. Use feta cheese if you can't find either cotija cheese.