Thursday, February 3, 2011

Peruvian Roast Chicken

  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Fine sea salt
  • One 4-pound whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


1. Finely chop the garlic cloves. Using the side of the knife’s blade, scrape and chop the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a paste.

2. Pull off the excess fat around the cavity of the chicken and discard. Rinse and pat the chicken dry inside and out. Place the chicken over the sink or on a plate, rub the chicken all over with 2 of the lemon quarters, and discard the used lemon. Slip a finger under the skin at the edge of the cavity and run it along each breast to gently loosen the skin from the meat of the breasts and thighs.

3. Gently work a little of the garlic paste between the skin and meat, being careful not to tear the skin, rubbing your hand over the outside of the skin to smooth the paste and push it past where you can reach with your hand.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the wine, the oil, paprika, cumin, black pepper, and oregano. Place the chicken in a 2-gallon resealable bag or a baking dish and pour the marinade on top. Turn the bird several times to coat. Refrigerate for 5 to 8 hours, turning the chicken once or twice if you’re home.

5. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220°C). Adjust the oven rack to the middle position.

6. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish or heavy frying pan (see headnote above) and pour the marinade into a small bowl, scraping any thick bits of spices into the bowl with the marinade. Squeeze the 2 remaining lemon pieces into the cavity of the bird, place the pieces into the cavity and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Season the chicken all over with 1 teaspoon of salt.

7. Roast the bird in the oven for 15 minutes, then baste with some of the marinade. Reduce the heat to 375ºF (190°C) and continue to roast, basting every 20 minutes with the marinade and the pan juices, for an hour. Roast for 15 minutes more, for a total of 1 1/4 hours, or until the juices of the chicken run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165ºF (74°C). Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes after you remove it from the oven.

For more recipes like this one, click the link below:

A Bird in the Oven and Then Some: 20 Ways to Roast the Perfect Chicken Plus 80 Delectable Recipes


  1. Okay, I'm convinced. I am going to try this recipe. I found your blog via the Escapees forum and I've been on your wife's blog before.
    Thank you for the recipe and looks like I'll be enjoying reading your blog from now on!

  2. Hi Cin! Welcome!

    Enjoy the chicken! I know I did. Nancy and I are going to be trying some Gyros tonight. If it's good, I'll be posting the recipe for that as well.