Aji de Gallina (Andean Creamed Chicken)
A gallina is a hen in Spanish. The recipe was designed to use stewing hens but we substituted chicken thighs.
- 6 chicken thighs
- 4 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
- 1 stalk of celery - chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 carrot - coarsely chopped
- 1 onion - finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of aji amarillo - finely chopped (aji means chile)
- 1/4 of a sweet red bell pepper - chopped
- 6 slices of bread
- 3/4 cup of milk
- 2 tablespoons of ground pecans
- 2 tablespoons of ground parmesan cheese
- 10 black olives, pitted
- 1/4 cup of oil
- Slices of sweet red pepper for garnish
- 2 hard boiled eggs - cut in halves
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- Finely chopped parsley for garnish
- Adult help
- Measuring cups and spoons
- A sharp knife
- A cutting board
- A mini-prep food processor or mortar and pestle
- A fork
- A large spoon
- A spatula
- A medium-sized pot
- A deep skillet
- Place chicken in the medium-sized pot with celery, bay leaf, carrot and salt.
- Cover with hot water.
- Bring to a boil and cook until tender - about 35 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the broth and shred into large pieces. Save 1/2 cup of broth.
- Soak the 6 pieces of bread in the milk and set aside.
- Put the aji amarillo, the red sweet pepper and olive oil into the processer and process until creamy.
- In the skillet, saute garlic, onion, pepper, and aji mixture until the onion is translucent.
- Meanwhile, use a fork to break up the soaked bread until it's a fine mash.
- When the onions are cooked, add the bread soaked in milk and stir.
- Add the broth, a little at a time, stirring as you go. If necessary add milk to reach a creamy consistency.
- Add the shredded chicken, salt, pepper and ground pecans.
- Place mixture in the center of platter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Decorate with halves of hard boiled eggs, thin slices of red sweet pepper and olives.
- Sprinkle on the parsley for a dash of color.
- Serve with white rice.