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Charcoal-grilled chicken with aji (Pollo a la Brasa)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for charcoal-grilled chicken with aji (Pollo a la Brasa).

By Lisa Featherby
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 4
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Charcoal-grilled chicken with aji (Pollo a la Brasa)
In Peru, aji means both chilli and a spicy chilli sauce. This version of aji uses Peru's classic yellow chilli, aji amarillo. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 free-range organic chicken (1.4kg)
  • 1 kg small potatoes, such as kipfler or royal blues
  • 1 large ripe vine-ripened tomato, cut into 1cm dice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • ½ Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 2 aji amarillo chillies, finely chopped (see note)
  • 1 tsp aji amarillo paste (see note)
  • Juice of ½ lime, or to taste


  • 1
    Pound cumin in a mortar and pestle until finely crushed. Add garlic, pound to a paste, then add oregano and pound to crush. Add lime juice, oil and 1 tbsp sea salt flakes and pound to combine. Set aside.
  • 2
    Remove backbone from chicken and flatten bird out, cut a few medium slashes in breasts and legs, then place in a non-reactive container, rub marinade all over and refrigerate overnight.
  • 3
    Bring chicken to room temperature. Set up a charcoal barbecue for indirect grilling. When coals die down to medium heat, grill chicken bone-side first and turn occasionally until just cooked through (1 hour-1 hour 20 minutes).
  • 4
    Meanwhile, wrap potatoes in foil, add to coals and cook, turning occasionally, until tender (20-30 minutes).
  • 5
    For aji, combine ingredients in a bowl with 1½ tbsp chilled water and ½ tsp sea salt flakes and serve with hot chicken and potatoes.


Note Aji amarillo chillies are available bottled and in paste form from Tierras Latinas en Australia. If they're unavailable, substitute bottled jalapeños.
Drink Suggestion: Vibrant grenache rosé. Drink suggestion by Max Allen