Pollo Asado con Aají de Maní

Spicy Chicken with Ají de Maní

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 6


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Ají de maní is a delicious, spicy peanut sauce native to the southern Pacific zone where most of the peanuts are grown. Here we use it to flavor chicken without the tamale masa, making it a light and tasty dish. The original recipe for this sauce is very hot, so I have decreased the amount of habanero by half.


  • 12 chicken thighs, skinned
  • 6 cloves garlic (4 grated and 2 whole)
  • teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin*
  • ½ teaspoon minced, seeded red habanero* pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • ½ cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon color* or turmeric
  • cups chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  1. In a large, nonreactive bowl place the chicken thighs, 4 cloves grated garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon cumin, and ¼ teaspoon habanero. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes or in refrigerator overnight.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the tablespoon oil and cook the sliced onions, covered, for 4 minutes. Uncover, mix and remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Add chicken thighs to the pot, skin side down, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to sear.
  3. In the meantime, purée peanuts, red onion, cilantro, 2 cloves garlic, color or turmeric, stock, pepper, remaining teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon cumin, and ¼ teaspoon habanero.
  4. Discard the excess fat from the pot, add the onions back in and pour in the blended peanut mixture. Cover, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for 40 minutes.
  5. Serve over white rice.