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Chef Eric Ripert teaches us how to make vegetables the star of the plate.
Peruvian pollo a la brasa is a whole chicken that is marinated, then cooked slowly on a rotisserie until the meat is ultra-tender; fried potatoes are a common accompaniment. Here, we use chicken leg quarters and roast them directly on top of sliced Yukon Golds that have first been lightly browned in the skillet on the stovetop. Marinate the chicken for 24 hours, if you can; if that’s not an option, give it at least an hour to soak in the seasonings. Ají panca paste is made from a Peruvian variety of chili of the same name; the paste is red with fruity, lightly smoky undertones and little heat. Look for it, sold in jars, in well-stocked supermarkets or Latin American grocery stores. If you cannot find it, don’t hesitate to use the sweet paprika plus smoked paprika substitute. Beer is a common marinade ingredient for pollo a la brasa; Cusqueña, a Peruvian lager, is a good choice, but any quaffable variety will do. We highly recommend serving the chicken and potatoes with ají verde (recipe below), a Peruvian goes-with-everything condiment that’s deliciously creamy, tangy, herbal and spicy.
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
cup beer (see headnote)
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