Lessons Learned: Peruvian Roast Chicken

Let’s make a list:

use a food processor, roast and carve a whole chicken, cook rice without a rice cooker.

That’s right – these are things I didn’t know how to do until I came across a recipe for Peruvian Garlic-Lime Chicken in the March/April 2011 edition of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.

Every step of the process is a learning experience and overall this meal is a labor of love delivering up a complex and delicious meal. Like any worthwhile relationship, plan on spending some time with it – in the kitchen prepping ingredients (although it is broken into several smaller chunks of time) and tying up your dishwasher.

To encourage you to stick through this with me here’s a preview of the payoff. Looks good right? You. Should. Taste. It :

1. Make mint-chili paste (15 minutes)
* Making the pickled jalapenos adds 45 minutes of hands-off time at this stage

2. Apply paste & marinate overnight (or as little as 6 hours)

3. Roast chicken (2 hours)

4. Make spicy mayo dipping sauce (5 – 10 minutes)

Note: Making the rice and coleslaw to accompany the chicken can be done on the 2nd day – the actual roasting day – while you wait for the chicken to be done.


3 tb olive oil
1/4 c lightly packed mint leaves
2 tb salt
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tb ground black pepper
1 tb ground cumin
1 tb sugar
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp grated lime zest plus 1/4 c lime juice
1 tsp minced habanero chile
1 (3.5 – 4lb) whole chicken
* ingredients for pickled jalapenos if you’re making them
* 12 oz beer in a can if you don’t have a vertical roaster
Stage 1:
Make chili-mint paste, prepare chicken, make pickled jalapenos if needed (these are for the spicy mayo you make the next day)

Study up on using your food processor and how remember to remove the giblets. Be ready because once you make the paste you’re going to get dirty and won’t be able to do anything else until you wash your hands.

Combine all of the ingredients from the top down to the habanero chile in the food processor until a smooth paste forms – a couple of seconds. Loosen the skin of the chicken from the thighs over the breast and remove any extra fat the may be hanging down by the cavity. Spread half of the paste under the chicken skin and the remaining half all over the chicken. Put your dressed up chicken in a gallon Ziploc bag and refrigerate 6-24 hours.

Pickled Jalapenos

2 jalapenos, minced
1.5 c water
1/4 c sugar
1.4 c red wine vinegar

Heat water over medium heat. Stir in sugar and dissolve. Stir in vinegar and jalapenos. Bring to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let steep 30 minutes on the stove or transfer to a storage container and leave overnight in the refrigerator.

Cooking Day:
Preheat oven to 325F, Drink half of your beer, Make coleslaw, Make rice, Make Spicy Mayo dipping sauce

Take out one of your oven racks and place the remaining one on the lowest position. Stand up your chicken on top of the beer can or vertical roaster – this is much harder than it seems so call in an extra pair of hands if you need it. I ended up putting the roasting pan in the oven, sliding the beer can into the cavity of the chicken and then standing it up vertically in the oven. Roast for 50 minutes.

*Make coleslaw if desired. We use this Sweet & Tangy recipe as our go-to coleslaw.

After 50 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and bump the heat up to 500F. Slyly repeat the ‘get the chicken upright in the oven’ maneuver and let roast for 20 additional minutes.

*Start the rice. Hands down the best rice is the base of the Faux Fried Rice from another CI recipe titled Indonesian Fried Rice.

After 20 minutes check for doneness. Carefully remove chicken from the oven and let rest 20 minutes while you make the Spicy Mayo sauce.

Spicy Mayo

1 egg
2 tb water
1 tb minced onion
1 tb lime juice
1 tb minced fresh cilantro
1 tb minced pickled jalapeno
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 c vegetable oil

Pull out your handy food processor and process all ingredients from the egg through the salt until finely chopped, about 2-3 pulses. Turn your machine to be continuously on and stream in the oil until a mayo like viscosity is achieved.

Carve chicken and serve with dipping sauce (we drizzle instead of dip).

Bask in the love that is Peruvian Roast Chicken and then load your dishwasher one more time before you daydream of leftovers.

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Vegetarian Challenge Day.5

I won’t keep you in suspense. We ate pizza today . . . pepperoni pizza. REAL pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut. So, it’s offical. One week vegetarian challenge. Fail.

We’re not too broken up about it. I think we had few things working against us (in no particular order):

1. We were snowed in for 5 days and couldn’t get to the store when we ate through our meal plan sooner than we expected.
2. B. admitted he may have eaten more than usual out of boredom. Re: snowed in
3. We were both pretty dang hungry..like all the time.

The siren call of pizza hit us Saturday night. Although I had made pizza earlier in the week, the lingering memory of a piping hot pepperoni pizza delivered to your door without any real effort on our part (and no dishes!) just won hands-down.

Here’s the pizza I made Friday:

Homemade Focaccia with Tomatoes & Basil Pizza

I’ll post my weekend remix pics on Monday. I have some sausage balls to make for the Superbowl party.

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Remix Day. 4

Hello Day 4.

Day 4 of the 30 for 30 challenge.
Day 4 of our Vegetarian challenge.
Day 4 of Snowmaggedon!

Yes ma’am. I put on my big girl shoes today and took pictures outside. Technically, someone else took my picture while I was standing outside, but seriously, I channelled my inner Miss Vinyl Ahoy and ventured to the front yard.

I admit the lighting is much more beautiful outside than in my bedroom. We didn’t have the courage for a full photoshoot. I did bravely sneak back to the front porch in my socks to snap a pic of my take-that-winter maryjanes.

Take that winter!

My Snow Shoes

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Vegetarian Challenge Day 3

Shiner Beer Stew

Let’s cut to the chase. I’m updating another winter classic tonight to mold it to my vegetarian (and Texan) liking. A redux of Guinness Beef Stew.

I bring you:

Shiner Seitan Stew
350 degrees / 45-60 minutes

Olive Oil
1 lb Seitan (or firm tofu) cut into 3/4″ pieces
1 medium onion – chopped
2-3 medium to large red potatoes
1 – 12oz Shiner beer (I used the black lager)
1.5 c vegetable stock
1 T. dijon mustard
1 T. worchestershire sauce
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. poultry seasoning (or mixed herb seasoning)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. In an oven proof soup pot, brown seitan in olive oil stirring consistantly. Add in chopped onion and saute an additional 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes, beer, stock, mustard, worchestershire, brown sugar, and seasonings. Mix well and cover. Cook in oven for 45-60 minutes or until potatoes are tender and flavors have time to combine.

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Remix Day. 3

Although today’s forecast is bone-chilling cold wrapped in heaps of ice and snow, I decided to play nice and imagine I was actually going into work today when I pulled together my outfit for day 3 of the 30 for 30 challenge. As my husband noted across steaming cups of espresso, “So, you’re wearing that outfit to give yourself some sort of psychological boost.?”

Exactly. That’s the plan. Skirt + Red Lipstick + Espresso = psychological boost.

I left out the part about rockin’ the pearl necklace in the bathroom mirror and opting for some restraint by choosing to only wear one necklace today. Oops. I subbed in some red lipstick for the ‘yes you will be productive at work today’ edge I was hoping to acheive with the pearls and jumped ears first into a conference call.

Exercise in Restraint

My Favorite Earrings

Whimsical Sleeve Detail

Weather Required Tights

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30 for 30 Items

Are you looking for details on the items I selected for my 30 for 30 challenge? I filed the report on my sister blog the Modern Day Librarian.

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Vegetarian Challenge. Day 2

Behold Day 2! The day inwhich we repeated breakfast, forgot to eat lunch, scarfed down some chocolate chip cookies, craved meat, and revamped my memorable chili recipe to be vegetarian challenge compliant.

My Vegetarian Chili

1 tb. olive oil

1 medium onion – chopped

1 celery stalk – chopped

3 cloves minced garlic

1 green bell pepper – chopped

3/4 c. – 1 c. Seitan* – diced to your liking < – – – optional

1 15oz can black beans

1 15oz can kidney beans

1 15oz can garbanzo beans <— aka Chickpeas

1 15oz can corn

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

Shredded cheese and sour cream for garnish  <— optional

Pour olive oil in a chili appropriate pan. Add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook 5 minutes or until softened. In the meantime, drain the beans and corn. Stir into pot. Add in Seitan and crushed tomatoes. Simmer 20 – 25 minutes until heated through (or as much time as you need to make cornbread).

* Seitan is a meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten and water. This is super easy to make – although it take about 90 minutes start to finish. I found vital wheat gluten next to the bread flour in my everyday run-of-the-mill grocery store. Of course, you can buy it premade at more upscale stores like Whole Foods and Central Market.

Vegetarian Compliant Chili

On another note, the 30 for 30 remix challenge continues today.

Remix Day 2



9 West Eggplant Button Heels

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