Pollo a la brasa

This classic Peruvian dish will become a firm favourite on the menu. Golden burnished chicken marinated in chilli and spices is the epitome of the overused but perfect term ‘finger licking good’. With a spicy punch from the creamy jalapeño and coriander sauce and the nutty slightly sweet yuquitas frites (cassava fries) – this combo is nothing short of a perfect symphony.








  • 1 large chicken
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 1 bag frozen cassava pieces
  • Extra lime wedges and coriander for serving



  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2cm knob ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chilli paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • A couple of grinds of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Spicy green sauce

  • 1 cup coriander leaves and stems, rinsed and dried
  • 2 jalapeños, stalks removed, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 green shallots, chopped
  • 40ml lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chilli paste
  • 15ml honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 125g goat’s curd
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. To marinate the chicken

In a container large enough to hold the chicken, mix together the soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger, balsamic vinegar, chilli paste, honey, Dijon, smoked paprika, chilli powder, pepper and salt.

Wash the chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Cut the chicken into two by removing the spine and cutting through the breastbone. Add the chicken halves to the marinade, massaging well to coat every bit of the chicken. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 2-24 hours. For best results turn the chicken halves every so often in the marinade.

2. To make the sauce

Combine the coriander, jalapeños, garlic, shallots, lime juice, Dijon, chilli paste, honey, cumin and goat’s curd in a food processor (this can also be done in a jug using an immersion blender). Blitz for a minute or so until combined into a creamy sauce. Season to taste. Cover and set aside until needed. The sauce can keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.

3. To cook the chicken

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the remaining marinade for basting, and lightly pat dry with paper towel. Set the chicken pieces skin side up on a baking tray and rub all over with the olive oil. Roast for 35-45 minutes, until the skin is burnished and crisp and the chicken is cooked through (test this by piercing the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer – the meat is done if the juices run clear) basting with the remaining marinade halfway through. Remove from the oven and cover loosely. Rest for 10 minutes.

4. To cook the cassava fries

While the chicken is resting cook the cassava fries. Heat a deep fryer (or large pot with 20cm of neutral high smoke point oil) to 180°C. Add the cassava fries straight from the freezer, frying for 3-5 minutes, until golden and crisp. Toss immediately with sea salt.

4. To serve

The chicken can be further jointed or served as halves with the sauce, extra lime wedges, cassava fries and a generous handful of fresh coriander.

Note: Traditionally this dish uses aji amarillo and aje panca chilli pastes. However, as these are hard to come by in Australia, gochujang, fermented chilli paste, sriracha and sambal work very well as substitutes.

As seen in Winter 2023

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