Although going out and experiencing new restaurants in Lima has been extraordinary, there is something to be said about a good old fashion homemade meal. We’ve been blessed with the option if we ever we are in need of food we are always welcome to take a 15-minute walk over to Bae’s aunts’ house, and we will be met with food abundant. One such day we walked over to have a family lunch, and I was introduced to one of Peru’s classic meals, Ají de Gallina.
Now if you aren’t aware of this already, one of the main attractions in Peru is the gastronomy. It has two restaurants in the top 10 of the world’s best restaurants. (click here for the full list. We had the opportunity to go to one that I’ll talk about next post) I knew I was in for a treat while I was here. What I didn’t expect was for Bae's family to have one of the best chefs I’ve ever met working for them who was going to make me amazing food on a weekly basis. ( #blessed ) Isabel is a force in the kitchen, and after tasting her Ají de Gallina, I knew I had found my sensei for studying Peruvian cuisine.
The simplest way to describe Ají de Gallina, besides calling it perfection, is to say it’s shredded chicken (like pulled pork) that is mixed in a creamy ají amarillo sauce that’s been thickened with bread, evaporated milk, walnuts, and parmesan cheese. It is traditionally served with yellow potatoes (papas amarillas) that are smothered in the chicken and ají sauce (as Bae’s aunt told me you must completely cover the potatoes with the sauce, it’s imperative!), topped with a hard boiled egg and black olives, with a side of white rice (obvi!). So I asked Isabel to teach me her ways, and I figured I would grace the rest of the world with pics of my kitchen adventure. One day we will have a smell/taste-o-vision, but for now, I hope these pics will suffice!
This is seriously one of the best meals I’ve had in my entire life! The sauce is so flavorful, and the shredded chicken makes the perfect match. I can’t wait to bring this recipe back to the city; it will definitely be a new staple!
Isabel, you are my hero, and this post is dedicated to you and all that you’ve done for us!