Roasted Chicken with Spicy Cilantro Sauce

Someone online said this roast chicken was the dish she made the most last year, so I looked it up and gave it a try. Don’t let the aji amarillo and aji panca make you walk away; look below for my substitutions and how they turned out. This needs time to marinate, but it’s all cooked on a sheet pan (yay!). Serves 4:

Roasted Chicken with Spicy Cilantro Sauce

For the chicken:

  • 6 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste or another chile paste such as sriracha or sambal
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon aji panca paste or 1 teaspoon pasilla chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound) chicken, halved, or 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
  • Olive oil, as needed

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3 to 4 jalapeños, seeded and diced (more or less to taste)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or basil
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon aji amarillo or other chile paste
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

For the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, soy sauce, aji amarillo paste, lime juice, aji panca paste, mustard, cumin, pepper and salt.

Add chicken, turning to coat the chicken all over with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

Heat the oven to 450°. Remove chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange skin-side up on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil.

Roast until skin is golden and chicken is cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes (if using chicken parts, remove the breasts after 25 to 35 minutes). Remove from oven and let sit, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes before serving.

While chicken is roasting, make the sauce. In a blender, blend cilantro, jalapeños, feta, garlic, lime juice, oregano, salt, mustard, aji amarillo paste, honey, and cumin until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt or lime juice or both.

Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce and lime wedges on the side.

My verdict:

Delicious! The sauce was terrific and, like many of the comments in the NY Times said, was even better a couple of days later. Wow!

Since a lot of the ingredients are the same, make the sauce right after you make the marinade.

My blender doesn’t have the guts to really puree a small amount, so next time I might try my mini food processor or bring out the big one (and make extra just to have). Also, we’ve got some killer hot jalapenos so I only used 1 for the sauce.

I used chicken thighs (surprise, surprise) and they were great—crispy skin and juicy meat. I wasn’t going to make a trip to try to find aji amarillo or aji panca, but these were great with sriracha and chipotle powder. Now, I might go hunt down the others.

I didn’t wipe off the marinade, added the olive oil and the skin was nice and crispy. If you want it super crispy, wipe off the marinade. I also added some par-boiled potatoes and Brussels sprouts—both tossed in some olive oil to the sheet pan after the chicken had been in the oven for about 15 minutes.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.