Peruvian Style Chicken
In the coastal nation of Peru, restaurants and roadside stands featuring pollo a la brasa (an entire chicken prepared on a rotisserie charcoal oven) are as ubiquitous and beloved as burgers are in America. In the world culinary stage, this is significant because Peru (yes, Peru!) has been widely recognized by the cognoscenti as a delicious dining destination and a culinary trend-setter. In fact, Frommers Travel Guide recently proclaimed Lima, Peru as the “top food and drink destination for 2012,” declaring that “Lima is now drawing a new flock of visitors who travel all the way to Peru just to eat.” Peruvian cuisine. In 2005, Bon Appetit declared Peruvian “the next hot cuisine,” extolling its , spiced rotisserie chickens and packed-with-flavor Stuffed Potatoes” then encapsulating its declaration with “this is one cuisine we could eat every day.”
With our typical “land of mañana” attitude, Albuquerque hasn’t been as quick to embrace Peruvian cuisine as have larger American metropolitan areas–not that we’ve had much opportunity. In the year Peruvian was declared “the next hot cuisine,” the Duke City’s first (and only) Peruvian restaurant both opened and closed. Albuquerque–you’ve got a second chance! In 2011, Monica Servan launched “Pollito Con Papas” on the southeast 1402 Broadway Blvd. SE Albuquerque, NM 87102. The specialty of the house is Peruvian style chicken. It’s addictive! Thanks to the customers and our simple menu we reached our success in six months time allowing us to move to a large location which is located on 6105 Gibson SE Albuquerque NM,87108.
~The vivacious Monica is originally from Peru. Her face practically glows with pride as she discusses the cuisine of her place of birth and the successes of her family in the restaurant business. One of her brothers is the chef at a highly regarded Peruvian-Spanish fusion restaurant in Berlin, Germany.
One area in which Moninca doesn’t have to compromise in the least is in the uniquely wonderful marinades and sauces used in the preparation and serving of the chicken. More impressively, they do not serve frozen poultry–apparently an anomaly because city inspectors were nonplussed over the fact they had never before seen a restaurant open without a freezer. Each chicken is simultaneously brined and marinated for at least ten hours in a bath of several ingredients . The chicken is served with a creamy “green sauce” which give it addictive properties.
The entire Pollito Con Papas menu is comprised of whole chickens; boneless, skinless marinated chicken thighs; fresh, hand-cut wedge fries with aji, and chicken engorged chimichangas all served with that wondrous green sauce.
The half-chicken–breast, wing and thigh–is an even better way to enjoy the marinade in which the chickens are prepared. The lengthy marinade process ensures deep penetration of flavors so it’s not just the skin which absorbs the ten ingredient melange of flavors. The brining and marinade process ensure every single bite is redolent with deliciousness while the process of slow-cooking makes a moist, delicious, non-greasy and very healthy chicken that doesn’t rely solely on salt for its flavor (as grocery store rotisserie chicken tends to do). The fact that each chicken is fresh and never frozen further seals in flavors and gives the chicken a texture you won’t find in poultry previously frozen (which tends to become desiccated after thawing). The accompanying papitas are fresh and hand-cut on the premises. They’re Texas thick and golden hued, better with the green sauce being a better condiment than the ketchup. Peru, by the way, is where potatoes were first domesticated. There are more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes grown in Peru today so it stands to reason Pollito Con Papas fries are among the very best in Albuquerque.
The boneless, skinless marinated thighs are a best bet for bone-phobic diners. Chicken thighs, not breasts as is the common misconception, are the most moist, tender and flavorful piece on a chicken. These thighs are oh so mouth-watering moist and the flavor profile is a nice balance of spiciness, savoriness, and peppery qualities with discernible hints of sweetness and tanginess, too. The discernment of flavors is an adventure in pure deliciousness