Skip to content

Me and You and a Little Peru…-ivan Style Chicken

Gary is out of town this weekend at a conference.  I have no dogs to watch over, so it is just me on a Friday night and it’s time for dinner.  Actually, I came to this realization early Friday morning and I thought…”This will be a great day for that delicious Peruvian-style Chicken with Tangy Green Sauce and Salad.”  I say that because this is a recipe that uses a whole roasting chicken with skin and bones.   Gary likes his chicken without bones or skin so this was the perfect dish since he is not here. So I called a friend and asked her over and got started.

When I am having guests over I like to get as much prep work done ahead of time as possible.  I am a messy cook.  Pans, bowls and utensils are everywhere so doing prep work early means I have a chance to clean the kitchen before guests arrive.

With that in mind, I needed to modify the original recipe that I found on  to get the prep work done early, I made some changes to the timeline.   If you want the original recipe you can get it here.  Otherwise a printable version with my changes is at the bottom of the post as always.

I also added in the potatoes to the recipe. To complete the meal, it needed a starch and since potatoes were first domesticated in Peru so it seems crazy not to enjoy them with this dish.

I would not make this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken.  However you certainly can remove the bones and skin after roasting and dispatch them to the trashcan if you are so inclined.  I suggest you live a little and at least leave skin and indulge in a heavenly mouth of moist, tender succulent chicken as it is intended slathered in green sauce and just walk an extra mile tomorrow.

Ok, I know that some folks do not like cilantro.  The sauce is cilantro based and the salad also includes cilantro.  That said, my guest for dinner is not a fan of cilantro and she loved the entire meal tangy sauce and salad included.

Peruvian-Style Chicken with Tangy Green Sauce, Roasted Potatoes & Salad

Preparation should only take about 40 minutes.  Cook time should be about 45-50 minutes.   Marinate time is 5-6 hours.  This recipe is long but it is not complicated.  You are making a complete dinner here.



For the chicken:

3 garlic cloves, finely choppedMarinade for chicken

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 lemons

1 (4-4 1/2-pound) whole chicken

2 medium potatoes cut in wedges.  (each should make 10-12 wedges)

4 -6 pats of butter

olive oil for roasting

For the green sauce:

1 cup (packed) cilantro leaves with tender stems

1–2 medium jalapeños, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup mayonnaise

For the salad:

1 English hothouse or 2 Persian cucumbers, cubed

2 firm-ripe avocado, cubed

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems, coarsely chopped, plus more for serving



Begin the chicken preparation at least 6 hours prior to roasting:

Mix garlic, cumin, oil, paprika, pepper, oregano, salt, and finely grated zest from 1 lemon in a medium bowl. Quarter zested lemon; set aside 2 quarters. Squeeze juice from 1 whole lemon and the 2 quarters; stir into spice mixture.

Marinade for chicken

Before your hands get messy, place a large sheet of plastic wrap out on a clean work surface.  Later you will be placing the chicken in this wrap once your have rubbed in the marinade.

Spatchcock the chicken

Place chicken breast side down on work surface. Spatchcock the chicken by cutting along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears. Remove backbone; reserve for stock. Turn breast side up and splay open. Press down on breastbone with palms until you hear it crack and chicken is as flat as possible. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub chicken all over with 2 reserved lemon quarters. Squeeze juice over bird, then rub skin all over with inside of rinds.

From both edges of cavity, loosen skin from breasts and thighs, being careful not to tear skin. Using your fingers, gently spread 2 heaping Tbsp. spice mixture under skin. then use the remaining mixture and rub all over the outside of the chicken  – both sides.

Gently fold the chicken back together and place on the plastic wrap and wrap that bird up.  Place wrapped bird in a bowl and put the the refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours.  

Now go ahead and make the green sauce so it has time to meld flavors as well.

Make the green sauce:

Purée cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, oil, lime juice, and salt in a blender until combined. Add mayonnaise and purée until well blended. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill until ready to use. 

Pre-chicken Roasting:

About an hour prior to roasting take the chicken out of the refrigerator and allow to rest.

Time to Roast:

Arrange rack in middle of oven; preheat to 400°F.  While oven heats cut the potato wedges.

Place the butter pats around the bottom of the skillet (my is cast iron). and the drizzle a couples tablespoons of olive oil as well.

Transfer chicken, spread flat and skin side up, to a roasting pan or large skillet.  Then add the potato wedges around the bird.

Roast chicken 20 minutes, then brush with spice mixture and pan juices. Continue roasting, basting with pan juices every 20 minutes, until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork or an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165ºF, 50-60 minutes total.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes, reserving pan juices.  Transfer the potatoes into a serving bowl.  Place in a warming draw or cover and wrap in a towel.

Peruvian-style chicken
She fell apart. The light area on the breast is where the thighs were attached.

While Chicken Rests – Make the salad:

Place lime juice, olive oil and salt in a small jar or sealed container.  Then shake, rattle and roll until blended.

Gently toss cucumbers, avocado, scallions, and 1/2 cup cilantro in a large bowl. Sprinkle with more cilantro if desired.   Dress the salad with the dressing.

cucumber and avocado salad

Back to the Chicken

Carve chicken and transfer to a platter along with the potatoes; baste with reserved pan juices. Serve with green sauce and salad alongside.

Serves 4


  • Green sauce can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill. 
  • Use additional potatoes if you want leftovers or if you have big eaters 
  • You “could” substitute Italian flat leaf parsley if you do not like cilantro. But I have not tried that so experiment if you wish.

Download Recipe Here: Peruvian-Style Chicken with Tangy Green Sauce, Potatoes & Salad

Bonus Recipe:

Roasted Red Tomatoes

I decided to also make roasted red tomatoes because I wanted a little more color contrast on the plate.  I serve my roasted tomatoes at room temperature because you get more of the intense tomato flavor when you eat.  So I made these in the morning while I was preparing the chicken for marinating.  This was a last minute decision so I did not have the correct tomato or fresh thyme.  I used dried oregano instead and they were great, but fresh thyme is even better. I used Campari tomatoes instead of Roma. Again it worked fine and tasted great but because the Campari is not as meaty as Roma and retains more water I flipped them over halfway through the roasting to speed up the process.  These I cooked Fast and Furious as described below but I prefer Low and Slow.

There are two methods of cooking roasted tomatoes depending on how much time you have: Low and slow or Fast and Furious.  Low and Slow is a 300 degree oven for 3-ish  hours.  Fast and Furious is 425 degree oven for 40 minutes.  The main difference is that Low and Slow produces a prettier end result but the tastes are pretty much the same.


6 Roma tomatoes

Garlic Paste (you can buy it or make it)

Olive Oil

Fresh Thyme


Preheat oven at 300 degrees.

Wash, rinse and dry your tomatoes.  Slice each tomato in half and place on a non-stick sheet pan that has been rubbed with a thin coating of olive oil.  Add a pea sized bead of garlic paste to the top of each tomato.  Now drizzle olive oil on to the top of each tomato.  Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves onto each tomato.

Bake for 2 1/2 – 3 hours.  The tomatoes should be void of standing water but still moist and be slightly caramelized. Finally, remove from the pan as soon as you remove from the oven once they are done so that they do not stick and place in a single layer on a plate or serving platter to cool to room temperature.

Serves 4

Download Recipe Here: Roasted Red Tomatoes


One Comment

  1. Karen Porreca

    I was the lucky recipient of an invite to try this new recipe with Rick. For some one that is not a fan of chicken on the bone, a lot of cilantro, and avocado’s I sure did eat well! The chicken breast I ate was juicy and just fell off the bone. I opted for the green sauce on the side but quickly dipped each bite into it. Yes, it has a lot of cilantro but it was not overwhelming and you could taste the garlic and lime juice as well. The chicken was delicious but I have to say the real shocker for me was the salad. Yes, more cilantro but it was just so fresh, light and complementary to the chicken I couldn’t stop eating it – really, I couldn’t stop eating it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.