Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken, also known as Pollo a la Brasa, is a delicious and popular dish in Peru and around the world. It’s known for its crispy skin, juicy meat, and unique blend of spices that create the most amazing flavour combination. This is the best recipe for Pollo a la Brasa, especially if you’re making it at home.
History of Pollo a la Brasa
Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken has its origins in the capital of Peru. That happens to be the place where I was born! The dish was invented in the 1950s by a Swiss immigrant named Roger Schuler, who opened a restaurant called “La Granja Azul.” I have eaten with my family in that restaurant more than I can count. It’s located on the outskirts of Lima and has a small lagoon with boats, quad bikes, playgrounds for children and more. You can guess that this dish really takes me back home!
Pollo a la Brasa is one of the most-eaten dishes in Perú. There are hundreds of Pollo a la Brasa restaurants, each with its own spice blend and secret techniques. In the 1980s, it became a national dish and rightly so! Today, this dish is enjoyed worldwide and is considered one of the most famous dishes in Peruvian cuisine.
Ingredients for Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken
To make Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 whole chicken of about 1.5kg-3.3lb
- Soy sauce
- Garlic powder
- Ground cumin
- Ground oregano
- Dry rosemary
- Panca Chilli Paste (You can find it on Amazon here, or if there’s no alternative, use paprika instead)
- Sal and pepper
How to make Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken
One of the most important components in a good Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken (Pollo a la Brasa) is the marinade. This is the would of the flavour that is going to impregnate the chicken. You will marinate the chicken in the mix overnight or for at least 8 hours. This is key for maximum flavour in the finished product. You can also have it there for up to 2 days if you’re prepping ahead of time. If you have a rotisserie skewer, you can roast it whole. Otherwise, spatchcock the chicken like me to maximize the amount of crispy, delicious skin.
Tips for Making Perfect Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken
To ensure your Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken turns out perfectly, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Use a high-quality whole chicken for the best flavour and texture. In general, there’s a better yield of flavour using smaller birds.
- Make sure to marinate the chicken for at least 8 hours, or overnight for best results.
- When cooking the chicken on a rotisserie, make sure it’s evenly balanced and securely fastened to the skewer. If you’re not using a rotisserie skewer, do it like me and spatchcock the chicken. This prevents any skin to become soggy.
- Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute and ensure a juicy and tender chicken.
Where to Find Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken
If you don’t feel like cooking, there are many places where you can find delicious Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken (Pollo a la Brasa). Many Peruvian restaurants around the world serve this dish, and you can also find it at speciality food stores or markets. Also, some supermarkets may sell pre-cooked chicken that you can heat up and enjoy. Look it up in the area near you and see if there’s anyone making this delicious dish.
Is Pollo a la Brasa Healthy?
Not only is this dish delicious, but it’s also a healthy option compared to other types of meat. Chicken is a good source of protein and is lower in calories and fat than beef or pork. The marinade used in Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken (Pollo a la Brasa) is pretty lean and is there only to add flavour. Also, the cooking method of rotisserie helps to reduce excess fat and calories by allowing the fat to drip off the chicken as it cooks. Actually, in Lima, it’s a classic meal that you can eat while dieting in salads, wraps or on its own with a side of salad.
Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken (Pollo a la Brasa)
- 1.5 kg whole chicken
- 350 ml beer
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsbp ají panca paste peruvian smokey chilli
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the chicken by cutting off the tail, removing the neck and any large excess of visible fat. Make sure that it's clean on the inside.
- You can leave it whole if you have a rotisserie skewer, otherwise, if you don't, spatchcock the chicken like me to ensure lots of crispy skin. To spatchcock the chicken, cut on either side of the spinal cord to remove it, turn it around and hold a palm over the sternum, with your other hand on top of it. Push down hard to flatten it.
- Mix all the ingredients for the marinade using a whisk and cover the chicken in a container. Let it marinade overnight or for at least 8 hours.
- Remove the marinated chicken and place it in a rotisserie skewer or flat on a baking sheet. Discard the marinade liquid.
- Bake the chicken for 1 hour at 200°C/390°F or until the temperature of the meat reaches 73°C/163°F.
- Remove it from the oven and serve with french fries and ají amarillo sauce.