Well it feels like a year has passed since I last posted, probably because it very nearly has been. I’m currently in South America now after fleeing my country a couple weeks ago and now that I’m settling in a long term rental I can finally get back to cooking. First up? This delicious Peruvian Roast Chicken which is sure to impress. This chicken, ceviche, and papa a la huancaina are probably my three favorite Peruvian recipes.
Now, the trick for this is to spatchcock the chicken. If you’ve never done this before don’t worry, it’s surprisingly easy. You can do it with a knife of kitchen shears, but I recommend the latter as you have a little more control. This is also the method I use for my maple black pepper roast chicken which is always a hit with friends at dinner parties.
Spatchcock The Chicken
Spatchcocking a chicken is very easy, and makes for a beautiful presentation. Just use some kitchen shears to cut the spine clean out, then flip the chicken and crack the breasts with the palm of your hand. Voila! A flattened chicken that will cook evenly and still retain it’s moisture.
How To Make A Peruvian Roast Chicken
The key to this Peruvian roast chicken recipe is in the spices. Luckily these are likely to be spices you already have on hand. If not, don’t worry, they are fairly common. This recipe is for one whole bird, so if you are cooking for a large group, just scale it up.
In a small mixing bowl add one half bulb of minced or chopped garlic, a tsp each of salt and freshly cracked black pepper, the zest and juice of one lime, a tbsp of paprika, one tsp of crushed coriander seed, 1 tsp of cumin, and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Mix together into a paste.
One you have the seasoning blend ready it’s time to season the chicken. Using your fingers, carefully pry away the skin of the breast from the meat until you have a large open cavity. Then take a tbsp of the seasoning and smear it all in there – try to get as deep as possible, but do not break the skin.
Next take the rest of the spices and massage it into the outside of the chicken. Make sure that every bit of skin is properly coated for even cooking.
Next place the chicken on a baking dish and place in the oven at 205C or 400F for about 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the bird. Some people like to baste the bird every 15 mins or so, but I find if the dish walls are tall enough then the oil and chicken fat keep the meat juicy while the top forms a perfect crust.
After about 45 minutes you can test the chicken for doneness by poking the thigh with a knife. If the liquid runs clear then the chicken is cooked, if not let it roast another 10 minutes. You can also use a thermometer and if the temp reads 165F then it is finished.
Remove the chicken from the oven after it is fully cooked. Let rest for 10 minutes, then move it to your serving plate. At this point I like to drizzle some of the rendered oil/fat over the top because there is plenty of good flavor in that liquid.
I like to serve this Peruvian roast chicken with a side of aji (spicy green sauce) and a squeeze of lime. However as this is your dish now you can serve it how you like, with maybe some rice or a nice side salad. Have fun with it, and let me know in the comments how it came out!
Try All My Tasty Peruvian Recipes
Peruvian Roast Chicken
Peruvian Roast Chicken
- Baking Dish
- 1 whole Chicken
- 1/2 bulb Garlic finely chopped or minced
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper freshly cracked
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 Lime
- Start by preheating your oven to 205C or 400F
- In a small bowl mix together the zest and juice of the lime, along with all the other ingredients sans chicken.
- Spatchcock the chicken by removing the backbone. Flip over and press down with the palm of your hand to break the ribs so the chicken now lays flat.
- Use your hands to pry the skin away from the breast meat. Take a tbsp of the seasoning and smear it all inside. Massage the rest of the seasoning into the outside of the chicken.
- Place chicken in a roasting or baking dish and place in the oven for 45 mins to 1 hour depending on the size of the bird. After 45 mins take a knife and pierce the thigh, if the juice runs clear it is done, if not let cook another 10-15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from oven and let rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Then plate and carve to serve. Serve alongside some Peruvian aji for a spicy kick.