Peruvian Baked Chicken Thighs

Pio Pio Restaurant

Pio Pio, the Peruvian restaurant (actually there are several in the New York area) that inspired this recipe – if you go there ask for extra green sauce with your chicken

Makes 4 Servings
Hands-On Time: 15 Minutes
Total Preparation Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

3/4 c fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 c soy sauce (low sodium, if you prefer)
3 T distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 T vegetable oil
1T ground cumin
1 1/2 t hot paprika
3/4 t dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 t cayenne pepper
6 cloves garlic
12 small bone-in chicken thighs with skin (about 4 pounds)
Green Sauce (recipe follows)

Suggested Accompaniments
Organic red quinoa
Steamed corn rounds

Peruvian Baked Chicken Thighs1. Combine the cilantro, soy sauce, vinegar, vegetable oil, cumin, paprika, oregano, and the desired amount of cayenne in a blender; press in the garlic (about 2 tablespoons) and puree for the marinade. Combine the marinade and the chicken in a resealable plastic bag and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning the bag once.
2. Place an oven rack on the top shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade, and pat the chicken dry. Arrange the chicken on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until crispy and cooked through. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving (Reserve 4 baked thighs for Chicken and Tomatillo Salsa Nachos.) Top each portion with green sauce.

Green Sauce: Combine 3 large scallions, trimmed and halved, 1/4 cup sliced Serrano chile with seeds and ribs, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 oz crumbled goat cheese (1/2 cup), 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 cup half-andhalf in a blender and puree until smooth.

Cook’s Notes
The red grain that you see on the plate with the chicken is Quinoa, red quinoa. I had been aware of quinoa as a supergrain but this was the first time I had seen the red version when one of the prep cooks Jenn suggested that we use it as an accompaniment. According to the Bob’s Red Mill website where you can purchase this quinoa:

“Organic red quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) was once called “the gold of the Incas” for increasing the stamina of Incan warriors. Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to rice or couscous. Our organic quinoa is grown wild and free of any pesticides and chemicals.

Quinoa, the “mother grain,” is an extremely nutritious seed. It has a protein value that is extremely high (12-18%) and the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Because of this, it takes less quinoa protein to meet one’s protein need than wheat protein. Quinoa is easy to digest and naturally contains no gluten. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron.

It is extremely easy to cook. Our quinoa comes pre-rinsed with all saponin removed. It can be used as is, with no rinsing or cleaning required. Mix 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water for 15-20 minutes. It is great by itself, mixed with vegetables, in souffles, or in casseroles.

Red and golden quinoa are nutritionally identical. Red makes for a much prettier appearance once cooked.

Store quinoa in sealed plastic or glass containers in a cool, dark, dry cabinet. Quinoa will stay fresh for one year if properly stored.”

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4 Responses to Peruvian Baked Chicken Thighs

  1. Marilyn Laufe says:

    I have been a fan of yours for years,and have one of your cookbooks. I was very pleased to see you on TV. Will follow as I can.

  2. Sharon Bennett says:

    I enjoy watching your TV cooking show.
    I love the things you teach (the Holy Trinity) and many good things I am learning about cooking.

  3. Margarita Rainyn says:

    I’m from Lima Peru and I was so happy to see this recipe thank you so much for showing this Peruvian recipe….. I’m your fan love all your easy recipe….

  4. Maggie Davidson says:

    I was watching this episode on PBS this week and decided to give the Peruvian baked chicken and red quinoa a try. It was delicious. Not difficult to make. I couldn’t get serrano chili peppers here in Canada so I used jalapeno in the green sauce. Tasted just great. I will definitely make this again.

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