Peruvian-style Chicken Drumsticks + Spicy Aji Amarillo Dipping Sauce

Peruvian-style chicken drumsticks


Eight years ago today, Jason and I got married at a beautiful farm in California surrounded by all the people we love. It was such an amazing time and the days leading up to it were just as grand, with so much of our family and friends flying in from all around the country to spend time with little old us. My parents hosted a party at the house the day before the wedding and it was one of the best times– eating, dancing, and drinking. Is there anything else better?


Jason and I the day before the wedding


I’m pretty sure my dad grilled up some chicken similar to the ones I have here. And if he did, he most probably served it with the spicy ají amarillo sauce I’ve included down below, a signature sauce of his. They both go hand in hand and it’s the perfect thing to eat with a cold beer amongst friends. These are typically grilled over a charcoal grill, which is really ideal, but today I just quickly seared them on the stove and finished them in the oven because 1) I was lazy and 2) Sometimes the outdoor grill scares me and I have prophetic images of self engulfed in flames after turning gas on. I know it’s non-sensical.


Peruvian-style chicken drumsticks 

Makes 12 messy-good drumsticks



2 tablespoons ají colorado

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 fat cloves garlic, crushed finely

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed with your fingers

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


12 chicken drumsticks, patted dry



In a shallow vessel big enough to hold the chicken, whisk together the ají colorado, red wine vinegar, vegetable oil, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Dump the chicken on top and massage the marinade all over them, squeezing gently with your hands to really get this stuff to penetrate the skin. Lay them out nicely and cover with plastic wrap. Stash in the fridge and let them chill for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours, turning them over and massaging with marinade occasionally. Before cooking, let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and put a baking sheet in the oven to start getting warm.

Grab a large fry pan and pour a dribble of vegetable oil, just enough to cook the chicken.

Doing this in batches, brown the chicken on all sides over medium-high heat until they’re golden and crunchy– they’re not supposed to cook completely at this point, you’ll be putting them in the oven to finish.

Take the baking sheet that you’ve already warmed in the oven and start placing the browned chicken in a single layer. When all the chicken is browned, brush them with the leftover marinade (don’t worry, you’re not going to die, this will cook along with the chicken), put them in the oven and let them finish cooking for about 25-35 minutes, flipping them over halfway into the cooking process and basting them again with the leftover marinade.

Let them rest for a bit before digging in. And then serve with the spicy ají amarillo dipping sauce.


Spicy aji amarillo dipping sauce


Spicy ají amarillo dipping sauce

Makes about 2 cups



4 ají amarillo, deveined

8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled

1 small yellow onion, chopped roughly

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons roughly chopped curly parsley



Put the ají amarillo, queso fresco, yellow onion, vegetable oil, water, salt, and pepper into a blender and mix together until totally smooth. At the last minute, drop in the curly parsley and give it one last whirl.

Serve this with the chicken and anything else that could benefit from a bit of spice! This is super, super good and I could just eat it with a spoon or my elbow.

Keeps for several weeks in an airtight glass container in the fridge.


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  • Carrie | acookgrowsinbrooklynJune 8, 2012 - 11:36 am

    First of all – congrats on your anniversary! Second of all – this chicken and sauce looks divine. Definitely on this summer’s to-grill list.ReplyCancel

    • StephanieJune 8, 2012 - 12:33 pm

      Carrie, thank you for the Anniversary well wishes. We had a lovely weekend spending it together and had lots of lavish dinners! 🙂 Great to meet you!ReplyCancel

  • fatpiginthemarketJune 8, 2012 - 11:45 am

    Happy Anniversary! Drumsticks, a spicy sauce and a cold beer sounds like a perfect way to start a marriage..and to keep one going. Nice to see you back in bloggy-land!ReplyCancel

    • StephanieJune 8, 2012 - 12:34 pm

      Jorie, thanks girl! I know I’ve been so lame lately, gone from the blogisphere and dabbling with other things. It’s so nice to have warm weather though– that only means more outdoor cooking!ReplyCancel

  • […] plain white next time.  I want more of the yellow sauce in my daily life. Maybe we’ll try this recipe sometime […]ReplyCancel

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