peruvian style grilled chicken
Celebrations Recipe

The Brooklyn Grill – A Cookout with Close Friends

Peruvian style grilled chicken served with cilantro sauce and Mexican grilled corn

Kimberlee and I have known each other for nearly 30 years. We were introduced when we were 18, by a mutual friend Emily. We later went on to connect in Florence, Italy during our study abroad programs, travel together to Europe and Asia and be roommates in NYC for many years. Since then we have since remained close. Both of us currently live in Brooklyn so it makes it easy to get together.

As we were all recently vaccinated she invited Scott and I to come for Easter dinner with her family. We had such a good time we decided to do it again. This weekend we split dinner duties with Scott and I bringing the Peruvian chicken, cilantro sauce and hot fudge and candy for dessert sundaes. Scott manned the grill, while Eric made Negroni’s and Kimberlee made a delicious slaw and incredible banana Nutella ice cream.

This meal could be made any weekend. But this Saturday night felt more like a celebration — it was an informal start to entertaining again. Great company and conversation capped by good health and a warm fire on the patio; nothing beats that. Except maybe hot fudge sundaes. Those sundaes themselves were their own celebration so see our post about those.

The recipes below are borrowed from another chef and blogger, Fifteen Spatulas. For full recipe instructions and details visit her site. Scott and I have made the recipe three times now and each time it’s better than the next. The chicken has to be marinated overnight but it’s that time that mellows the pepper. So while using the spicy pepper paste may sound scary, it’s mellow by the time you eat it and even the kids did not complain once.

The original chicken recipe can be found here. I am listing the ingredients and basics below. For the cliantro dressing you can find it here. We served the chicken with additional sides like fresh cole slaw, a Boston lettuce green salad, and of course Mexican corn. You can also serve it with Spanish rice and simple corn complemented with sweet butter or garlic parmesan spread.

Peruvian Chicken


  • 3.5-5 lbs of chicken (use your favorite parts we used breasts with skin and ribs)
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp aji amarillo paste
  • 1.5 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3 Large garlic cloves pressed or minced
  • 2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, aji amarillo paste, lime juice, garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, and black pepper.
  2. Wash and pat dry your chicken with a paper towel. Place the chicken in large glass or other container that seals tight.
  3. Pour and rub the marinade all over the chicken. Let sit at room temperature for one hour. Alternatively, you can marinate this up to 24 hours in advance in the fridge which is what I prefer to get the full flavor in the meat. Note: never leave meat out of the fridge for more than 2 hours.
  4. Grill the chicken for 30 minutes making sure it does not burn, and moving the pieces to lower flame areas to cook through.
  5. When the chicken is cooked, remove and place on a serving platter. Cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5-7 minutes under foil while you finish the rest of the items for the meal and dress the salad.
  6. Note: While it’s not required, the original recipe calls for a spatchcock chicken. To me it’s not enough food and my family prefers white meat so we use that. But I have also made this with chicken thighs and a quartered chicken, each works well. Adjust your cooking time accordingly.