Friday, October 3, 2014

Lunch Week 33: Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash
This chicken is one of my more favorite things to make for lunch. I'm not sure why I don't make it more often though. It's so delicious and easy to make in big batches. And it's really versatile meaning you can serve almost anything on the side. Although I made it a bit spicier than normal, I do suggest a soothing side like a salad or avocado. I opted for roasted butternut squash this time considering it's in season now.

Below, I have an update recipe. But if you want step by step pictures, please see on my previous post here. Enjoy!

Peruvian Roast Chicken
Makes 10 Servings

For chicken:
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
4 tablespoons kosher salt
12 medium garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 teaspoons dried oregano
4 teaspoons finely grated zest

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
4 habanero chiles, seeded
12 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs

For sauce:
2 whole jalapeƱo chiles, seeded
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 medium cloves garlic
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1. Process all ingredients except chicken in blender until smooth paste forms, 10 to 20 seconds. Place chicken in large zipper-lock bag and add marinade. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375oF degrees. Place chicken on rack lined baking sheet. Roast chicken for 45-60 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165oF. Use an instant thermometer to be safe.

If you're grilling, preheat the grill on medium heat. Place the chicken on indirect heat and close the cover and allow to cook for 60 minutes, flipping halfway through.

3. In the meantime, combine all sauce ingredients in a blender/processor and puree until smooth. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

4. Carefully remove chicken from oven/grill and let rest about 5-10 minutes. Serve with aji verde sauce.

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