This was the first Peruvian dish I ever made… so it’s only fitting that it should be my first recipe post! We received a George Foreman rotisserie as a wedding present, and I used that thing until it fell apart. We found a brand new one on Craigslist last year, and we still use it today.
This dish is not an old Peruvian classic; in fact, it was created by Swiss hotelier Roger Schuler in Peru in the 1950s. It’s become a perennial favorite; and today, you will find this dish anywhere that Peruvian food is served. In fact, many Peruvian restaurants feature this dish – or serve it exclusively – and have huge charcoal-fired spits called rotombos to roast dozens of chickens at a time!
I’ll say right off that my version is not roasted in a rotumbo, and thus cannot have the same distinctive charcoal flavor. So it’s not 100% authentic. But it was developed based on my husband’s taste memory: Eduardo would taste each attempt, and say, “Close, but more cumin!” “Almost, but more salt!” – until he finally exclaimed, “That’s it!”
Pollo a la brasa can be made in the oven or rotisserie; I’ve included directions for each. But the only way to truly achieve the authentic flavor is by roasting it over charcoal.
- 12oz. lager beer
- 12oz. water
- 2cups chicken stock
- 1Tbsp. ají amarillo paste
- 1packet Goya Sazon seasoning
- 2tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 2Tbsp. cumin
- 1Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1Tbsp. Goya Sazon seasoning
- 1Tbsp. Goya Adobo seasoning
- 1tsp. black pepper
- 1Tbsp. cumin
Use a lager beer – and make sure it’s good beer. I follow this rule of thumb: if I don’t want to drink it, I won’t put it in my food!
If using a rotisserie, make sure the chicken fits without hitting the element. You may find it useful to cut off the wing tips, so they don’t strike the element while the chicken rotates. (Tucking them really doesn’t work.)
The best way to mimic the rotombo flavor would be to use a charcoal grill fitted with a rotisserie (positioned several inches above the flame; the chicken should have a charcoal flavor, but not be charred. Try making it in a charcoal smoker (like the Weber Smoky Mountain “Bullet”) fitted with a rotisserie attachment, for a truly authentic flavor.