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Peruvian Roast Chicken With Spicy Cilantro Sauce

This Peruvian roast chicken borrows its Latin American accent from a marinade of paprika, cumin, lemon, and garlic, creating an amazing Technicolor Dream Coat color and has a really quite spectacular taste.

Burnished-skinned, deeply flavored, and more than just a little spicy, it’s no wonder that Peruvian chicken has become something of an obsession here in the United States. There are dozens of ways to make this dish, but most recipes call for two different kinds of Peruvian chile pastes — aji amarilla and aji panca — to add the necessary complexity and heat. You can find them at South American markets and online. But in a pinch, you can substitute a red chile paste (like sriracha or sambal) for the aji amarillo, and ground pasilla chile powder for the aji panca. The flavors won’t be traditional, but the chicken will still be tasty — especially when slathered with the irresistibly creamy, spicy cilantro sauce that goes alongside.

An enameled cast-iron dish or a heavy frying pan is a good choice for this bird so that after it’s cooked, the sauce can be made in the same pan. If you like, you can soak the red onion for the salad in an iced water bath for 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry before mixing with the rest of the ingredients. This takes away most of the bite. INGREDIENTS- For the Peruvian roast chicken-

  • 5 garlic cloves finely chopped

  • Fine sea salt

  • One (4-pound) chicken

  • 1/2 lemon cut into 2 wedges

  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup white wine

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons paprika*

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano