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Aji Coconut Chicken in white bowl with noodles

Chili and Coconut Chicken Peruvian Style

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  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: South American


This simple “Peruvian” style braised chicken is simple to make and delicious to eat. Full of flavor this is perfect for a cold night!


Units Scale

2 T coconut oil

4 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs or 2 large chicken breasts

1/2 large onion, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can full fat coconut milk

1/4 to 1/2 c aji amarillo paste (I used a tube from Kroger that was more than aji chilies and it tasted great)

1 1/4 lbs butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks or slices

3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems

Salt to taste

Rice, noodles or potatoes for serving


Preheat oven to 350 and adjust rack to lower middle positition.

Add coconut oil to 6 quart Dutch oven or other large heavy oven-safe pot.

Heat over medium-high heat until oil melts and begins to shimmer. Season chicken with salt and place skin side down in the oil. Cook about 4 minutes until golden and then flip over and sear on the other side until brown. Remove chicken and set aside. Drain excess fat from Dutch oven and lower heat to medium.

Add sliced onion and garlic and cook until translucent and tender, scraping up the chicken bits from the bottom, about 5 minutes.

Add coconut milk, aji amarillo paste and squash. Bring to a simmer and test for salt. Return chicken to pot along with accumulated juice. Place skin side up on top of the squash and try to make sure that it rests above the coconut milk.

Transfer pot to oven and bake, uncovered until chicken is cooked through and squash is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in peas and cilantro. Serve with your choice of potatoes, noodles or rice.