I love a well-roasted chicken smothered with simple spices paired with a finger-licking dipping sauce. Kinda like eating chicken nuggets with a dipping sauce, it’s something that I’ll never get tired of doing. Chicken with sweet and sour sauce, bbq sauce, garlic sauce, honey mustard….and I could go on and on. I’m a dippity-kind of girl, so when I came across the latest issue of Cooks Illustrated and saw this recipe, I knew this was something definitely up my “dipping” alley.
“Pollo a la brasa” as it’s commonly known in Peru is their version of rotisserie chicken. The chicken gets slathered with a paste of garlic, mint, cumin, sugar, paprika, lime, serrano chiles, oil, salt and pepper and marinates overnight. Then you hoist it on top of a beer can or a vertical roaster and then you slowly roast it in the oven until it’s a perfectly browned chicken. The semi-crisp skin packed a powerful flavor punch with slight acidity from the beer, and the meat was incredibly moist from the self-basting action of the beer can. Pairing the spicy mayonnaise with the roasted chicken is a perfect match and with each bite and dipping action is explosive in your mouth with incredibly fresh spices and garlic yumminess.
Peruvian Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lime
Adapted Cooks Illustrated March/April 2011
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest and lime juice (¼ cup)
1 teaspoon minced serrano chile
1 (3 ½ to 4 pound) whole chicken
1 12-ounce can of beer
In a blender, add all the ingredients except the chicken until a smooth paste forms, about 10 to 20 seconds. Using your fingers carefully loosen the skin over thighs and breast and remove any excess fat. Rub half of paste beneath skin of chicken and spread entire paste on the exterior. Place chicken in gallon-size zipper-lock bag and refrigerate for 24 hours.
When ready to bake chicken, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place beer can or vertical roaster in roasting pan. Pour half the beer into a Pyrex measuring cup, and save it for later. Slide chicken onto the beer so the chicken stands upright and breast is perpendicular to the bottom of the pan. Roast the chicken until skin turns golden brown and instant-read thermometer reads 140 degrees, about 45 to 55 minutes. Carefully remove chicken and roasting pan from oven and increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.
When oven has heated up to 500 degrees, place the remaining beer in bottom of pan and return chicken to oven. Roast until entire skin is browned and crisp and instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees in the thickest part of the breast, about 20 minutes.
Carefully remove chicken from oven and cover with aluminum foil and let it rest on beer can for 20 minutes. Using tongs, carefully lift chicken off beer can and onto cutting board. Carve chicken and serve. Serve with spicy mayonnaise.
1 large egg (or ¼ cup egg substitute)
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon canned pickled jalapeno, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
Process all ingredients except oil in a food processor until finely chopped. With the food processor running, carefully add the oil in a steady stream until a smooth mayonnaise-like consistency.