Chicken Causa Peruana with aioli sauce
- Potato Puree
- Yellow potatoes (Yukon Gold) - 1 kgr (2.4 lbs)
- Aji Amarillo chili paste - 2-3 Tablespoons
- Lime - 1, juice
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2-3 Tablespoons
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Aioli Sauce
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1/4 cup + more
- Egg yolk - 1
- Garlic - 4-5 cloves, chopped
- Lemon juice - 2 teaspoons
- salt and pepper - to taste
- chicken thighs - 454 gr (1 lb), boneless, skin removed
- Berbere - spice mix, 1 teaspoon
- Orange juice
- Avocado - 1, peeled, cut in slices
- Black olives - 6-8, deboned, cut in quarters lengthwise
The word "causa" means "cause", in Spanish but in this traditional staple it comes from the Quechua -Indigineous ethnic group from Peru and other South American countries- word 'kausay" (sustenance of life).
I like Peruvian food but I'm not necessarily an expert on it. This is my own interpretation of the traditional causa, the potato part follows traditional recipes. In my case I use orange shredded chicken for the filling and a homemade aioli sauce (a garlic mayonnaise) instead of regular one. With this recipe you can make 2 medium-size or 1 large Causa.
- Cook the potatoes unpeeled in boiling water so as to prevent the potatoes from becoming humid (this tip was stolen from Gastón Acurio, Peru most renowned chef).
- Once they are done, peel the potatoes and mash them immediately. Season with salt and pepper. Let them cool down.
- Mix the mashed potatoes with the yellow chile, lime juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Reserve.
- Chop and mash garlic to form a paste.
- Add the yolk and mix. Add olive oil, a couple of drops and whisk together until it becomes a dense paste.
- Continue whisking and adding olive oil little by little until it has the desired texture (similar to a mayonnaise).
- Once it's ready, add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Reserve in the fridge.
- It the sauce separates, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of mayonnaise on the side and whisk it with a little bit of the aioli until it has the right consistency. Continue adding and repeating the process until the whole aioli sauce has the right mayonnaise alike texture.
- Slice the avocado. Sprinkle a little bit of lemon to avoid oxidation.
- Heat oil in deep iron pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with Berbere. Cook chicken, turning once, until light golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add orange juice and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer -covered- for about 20 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from the heat
- Remove the lid, with the help of two forks, shred the chicken.
- Bring back to medium heat and continue cooking -stirring from time to time- until the sauce combines with the shredded chicken and begins to caramelize (avoid burning it). Let it cool down.
Assembling the Causa:
- On a plate, with the seasoned mash potatoes, make a circle of about 2 cm (1") high. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add a layer of avocado slices, season with salt and pepper.
- On top of the avocado, spread layer of the shredded chicken evenly.
- Lastly, spread another layer of seasoned mashed potatoes evenly. Press down gently to form the causa.
- Spread some aioli on top and on the side of the Causa. Garnish with black olives.
This Chicken Causa Peruana recipe is a layered potato, avocado and orange shredded chicken dish. It comes with aioli – a garlic infused mayonnaise- that adds a nice touch.