Peruvian Roast Chicken

July 28: Independence Day of Peru

Happy Independence Day to the people of Peru! We work with a Peruvian family foundation based in the Midwest to raise funds and supplies (school and medical) to provide food and basic necessities and services to impoverished villages across the South American nation. Someday we hope to go to Peru and help with their missions as well as visit the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.

We get a literal taste of Peruvian cuisine and culture when we visit and stay at our friends’ Guillermo and Tina’s home. We help them and their family prepare for their charity fundraiser by assembling raffle prize packages, picking up orders, designing ads, decorating the venue, cleaning up, etc.

While volunteers are working hard to prepare for the event, Guillermo and his sister-in-law Odilia make sure we are nourished. They set out a buffet on their kitchen island with salads, fresh fruits, rice, spicy sauces, snacks, sweets and roast chicken. The main meat is tender, succulent, flavorful and filling—adding to the festive mood of family and friendship. Tina’s brother, Pastor Juan, would give thanks to God that we are blessed with a bounty in America that others in their country do not have, but God sends those with grateful hearts to help communities in need. Simple acts of kindness make the world a better place—and we need more compassion and understanding especially nowadays!

We roast a chicken Peruvian style once in a while at home. We save some of the meat to make other dishes (soups, sandwiches or salads) so nothing is ever wasted. The seasoning paste and green sauce (salsa verde) may be made ahead so preparation is faster. Below is a recipe post for Peru’s Independence Day.


From by Guillermo L.


  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt (plus a few more sprinkles for the chicken)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (plus a few more sprinkles for the chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2-3 limes (1 zested, 2 cut in half)
  • 4 pound whole chicken, giblets removed


In a bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin.

Stir in the paprika and oregano. Add the zest of one lime then cut this lime in half. Squeeze the juice in the bowl. Cut another lime and squeeze the juice in the bowl. Mix until it has a paste-like consistency. Set aside.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Use kitchen shears to cut out the backbone of the chicken. Turn it around on press down to flatten (spatchcock). Rub some lime on the inside and outside of the chicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn the chicken breast-side down. Use a knife to loosen the skin but be careful not to tear it.

Spread half the marinade mixture underneath the chicken skin. Place on a foil lined roasting pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for half an hour. Remove from the oven and smear the remainder of the marinade on the skin.

Bake for another 15 minutes. Periodically baste the chicken with pan juices. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing into pieces. Serve with a side of green sauce (salsa verde).

Bonus Recipe: Green Sauce (Salsa Verde)


  • Handful of cilantro (about a cup)
  • 1-2 small jalapeño peppers, de-seeded and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise


In a blender container, place the cilantro, sliced peppers, garlic clove, olive oil and lime juice.

Add the mayonnaise. Blend well, shaking the container until everything is mixed and pureed. Pour into a bowl and serve on the side with the Peruvian roast chicken.


  • Muchas gracias to Guillermo y familia for this recipe, their hospitality and world vision to help the less fortunate in both the Midwest American city in which they live now and in their home country.
  • Peruse our blog for more Peruvian recipe posts.