Yield: Makes 2 to 4 servings
Time: 50 minutes (9 hours including marinating)
Also known as Pollo a la Brasa, this is a universally liked dish, used breasts instead of whole chicken, lime accompaniment is key, try grilling lime quarters
This iconic regional dish incorporates soy sauce, evidence of the strong influence of the Japanese and Chinese communities in Peru. The intensely flavored marinade, bright with lime juice and zesty with garlic, deeply seasons the meat, and the grill gives it a beautiful sear. We’ve provided a range for the portion size, because while some home cooks may be content with a quarter chicken per person, many Peruvian restaurants and takeout places serve each customer a half chicken (even here in the States, where chickens tend to be on the large side).
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), quartered
- Accompaniment: lime wedges
- Marinate chicken: Blend soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and oil in a blender.
- Put chicken in a large sealable bag and add marinade. Seal bag and marinate, chilled, 8 to 24 hours.
- Grill chicken: If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom and lid of grill. Light a large chimney starter full of charcoal (preferably hardwood). When coals are lit, dump them out along opposite sides of bottom rack, leaving a space free of coals (the size of the quartered chicken) in middle. When you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill rack directly over coals for 3 to 4 seconds, coals will be medium-hot.
- If using a gas grill, preheat all burners on high, then reduce heat to medium-high.
- Discard marinade, then pat chicken dry. Oil grill rack, then grill chicken over area with no coals (or over a turned-off burner), skin side down first, covered, turning over once, until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes (add charcoal to maintain heat).
- Note: If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, chicken (quartered) can be roasted in middle of a 500°F oven in a 13- by 9-inch roasting pan with 1 cup water 30 minutes, then tented with foil and roasted until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes more.