Aji de Gallina
If I am cooking this dish, my mind travels in time to the days when my older sister Teresa got married, because in the months after her marriage, her need for cooking grew, and that is when I learned to make this dish. She used to called in the mornings and ask: how to do I cook this?, my grandma was the one telling her how to do the Aji de Gallina, because my "Mami",Grandma, was the best at this dish, but don't think I pick it up from just one day, my sister called every day for many weeks. Because I loved cooking since those days, I will sit next to the phone to listen how to do the food i so much like. Sometimes I got to written some of them down as well. To this day I ask my self, why my sister called and not just wrote down the directions, I suppose she did, but loose them as well.
Ingredients1 Whole Chicken, shredded by hand.
1 small diced onion
2 small celery stalks, small diced, (the amount should be half of what yo have in onions).
1 tblsp minced garlic
1 whole AJI AMARILLO, thin sliced
4 Tblsp AJI MIRASOL
1/2 Cup of toasted Brazilian nuts, or any nut can be use to replace.
5 Cups Chicken Broth ( reserved from the cooking process of the chicken)
5 slices of bread
1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
Salt, As Needed
Parmesan cheese, to taste
4 hard-boiled eggs
black kalamata olives, 1 per person
4 or 6 boiled potatoes, sliced
white long grain rice, for serving
Preparation:1. Cook- Boil the chicken and after shred and reserve the cooking liquid.
2. Start by making a really nice sofrito with the onion and celery and a little olive oil, when your sofrito is tender and transparent, incorporate the garlic and both AJIS. so-fry for a little longer, 1 or 2 minutes.
3. Transfer the sofrito to the blender as well as the Brazilian nuts, chicken broth and bread. Blend nicely.
4. Transfer the blender mixture back into the pot and cook for 20 minutes stirring constantly with a whisk.
5. After that time incorporate the shredded chicken into the pot and mix with a wooden spoon, add the milk.
6. Taste and adjust the salt.
7. Serve with white rice on the side and on top of the boiled potatoes. Parmesan, a wedge of the boiled egg and the kalamata olive for presentation.
THINGS TO TAKE IN ACCOUNT:
- When cooking the chicken, don't forget to flavor the cooking liquid, add salt to the water and when the foam starts forming spoon it out. After that add diced celery, carrots, onion. Also some thyme, garlic, bay leave, stick of parsley. Remember to reserve the strained broth. This will be a base in your dish make it yummy.
- If you do not have Brazilian Nuts, replace with almonds.
- AJI AMARILLO and AJI MIRASOL can be buy at a Peruvian store, search in google for your favorite Peruvian store in your city.
- If your ajis are not spicy, add some crushed pepper. This dish is yummier when spicy.