Cau cau is a classic Peruvian dish, which really shows off the brilliant balance of flavours that Peruvian cuisine has. It’s got a warmth from the aji amarillo yellow chilli, freshness from the mint and lemon, and an earthiness from the Palillo spice mix. Traditionally it’s made with tripe, but you can recreate the flavours with chicken, as we’ve done here. Even better, this chicken Cau Cau recipe is really easy to make!
500g fresh chicken breast, skinless and cut into bitesize pieces
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium sized onions, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp aji amarillo paste (this is medium spicy, you can vary to taste)
1 chicken stock cube
1 sachet of Palillo seasoning mix
300g potatoes, peeled and diced
100g frozen peas
A quarter of a lemon
2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper to taste
Rice, to serve
Dissolve the stock cube in 300ml of hot water, set aside.
In a large, deep pan, heat the oil. Add the diced onion, and fry over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until soft.
Add the garlic, aji amarillo chilli paste, Palillo seasoning mix, and stir well until combined.
Add the chicken stock, chicken and potatoes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as required.
Bring to the boil, then simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes.
Add the frozen peas, and continue to simmer over medium heat for another 5-10 minutes, until the potatoes and chicken pieces are cooked.
Squeeze the juice of the lemon quarter into the pan, add the chopped mint, and stir. Taste and season again.