Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Carne Diem
Method: Grill or SmokerJump to Recipe
Peruvian Anticuchos de Pollo is the chicken version of the famous Peruvian dish traditionally made with beef hearts. In this version cubed chicken breasts or thighs are seasoned in a flavorful marinade starting the delicious Aji Panca chile. With just a little kick it is a dish the entire family can enjoy.
Peruvian food is one of the hidden gems of the culinary world. Peruvian food is diverse, taking from the wide range of ingredients available to them in the Andes and differing climate and regions throughout Peru. Peruvian food has easily become one of our family's favorites and something we will always try to eat when we come across a Peruvian restaurant. Thankfully a lot of Peruvian dishes can be made easily at home, such as these Anticuchos de pollo, or Peruvian chicken skewers.
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Peruvian food is so simple yet amazingly flavored with their traditional spices- L'Wren Scott
What are Peruvian Anticuchos
Anticuchos are an inexpensive street food that became popular in the Andes. Widely popular in Peru these grilled meat skewers are traditionally made with marinated and grilled beef hearts, but other meats may be used as well.
I have had beef heart anticuchos a couple times and it is absolutely delicious, so if you ever come across it at a Peruvian restaurant, don't hesitate to try it. Still, I am at the point of trying to balance tricking my family into eating things that I know they will like, but would not try if I told them what is was (Beer Braised Barbacoa and Jamaican Style Cast Iron Oxtail Stew). I even got the mother in law to eat the beef cheek barbacoa and she said it was some of the best shredded beef that she has had, lol. Anyway, I decided to try this Peruvian recipe with Aji Panca marinated chicken first, and I am happy that I did.
Making the Peruvian Anticuchos de Pollo
As flavorful and delicious as these Peruvian Chicken Skewers are, they are also extremely easy to make once you have the ingredients. You just need red wine vinegar, cumin, vegetable oil, garlic, fresh oregano, salt, and Aji Panca paste. The Aji Panca paste may be the most difficult thing to acquire but we have seen it around some Latin markets. It is also readily available on Amazon or some online grocers.
What is Aji Panca?
Aji Panca is a Peruvian pepper that is moderately spicy with a fantastic and complex taste. It is a little bit smoky and a little bit fruity in flavor. It has a beautiful, rich red color that really makes this dish stand out, both in taste and appearance.
Prepare the marinade for the anticuchos
To prepare the marinade for the Peruvian Anticuchos de Pollo, simply mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
Cube your chicken into bite sized pieces. You can use either white or dark meat for the recipe. We choose to use chicken breasts, though thighs would also be delicious.
Add the chicken to the bowl with the marinade and stir to cover all of the chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Prepare and grill the Peruvian chicken skewers
Prepare your grill for 2 zone cooking with direct heat. Preheat to about a medium-high heat or about 400 degrees. While the grill is heating carefully skewer the marinated chicken onto the skewers. If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them first.
We cooked these chicken skewers on our PK Grill, but you can make the anticuchos on any BBQ grill or smoker. Grill the Peruvian Chicken Skewers over direct heat, flipping and rotating them every few minutes.
Once the outside of the chicken is nice and browned you can move the skewers to the side of the grill with less heat. Continue to cook until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees and checked with an Instant Read Thermometer.
Once the meat has reached temp remove the skewers from the grill for serving.
If you love meat skewers as much as we do be sure to check out some of these other recipes from around the globe:
- Grilled Chicken Tikka Skewers
- Grilled Souvlaki (Greek Chicken Skewers)
- South African Sosaties: Lamb and Apricot Kebabs
- Grilled Chicken Spiedini
- Grilled Shish Taouk: Lebanese Chicken Kebab
Serve the Peruvian Anticuchos de Pollo with rice, corn, beans, or your favorite side dishes.
While you are here, why not check out some of these other great South American recipes:
- Grilled Brazilian Fraldinha
- Garlic Basted Rotisserie Picanha
- Peruvian Lomo Saltado: Stir-fried sirloin steak and fries
- Peruvian Roast Game Hens
- Uruguay's Chivito: The Ultimate Steak Sandwich
Frequently Asked Questions
Aji panca is the most common chili used when making anticuchos.
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Peruvian Anticuchos de Pollo: Peruvian Chicken Skewers
- 2 Pounds Chicken cubed Breasts or boneless thighs
- ¼ Cup Aji Panca Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano or 2 teaspoons died
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- ½ teaspoon Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
- Cube the chicken and add to the marinade. Cover as refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to cook, preheat your grill for medium-high heat, about 400 degrees. Set it up for 2 zone cooking.
- Carefully skewer the chicken onto the skewers. If using wooded skewers, soak them first.
- Grill the chicken, flipping the skewers every few minutes. Remove when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees and the chicken is cooked through. If some get done sooner than others, move those to the cooler side of the grill.
- Serve warm.