What is Pollo a La Brasa? Why You Need to Try Peruvian Chicken
Pollo a la brasa or Peruvian roasted chicken is one of the most consumed dishes in Peru.
If you think it’s an age-old recipe from Peru, think again. With its origin dating back to 1950, pollo a la brasa is only a few decades old. Within a short period of time, the popularity of this dish exploded.
So what exactly is pollo a la brasa and what makes it unique?
The History of Peruvian Roasted Chicken
The story begins with two Swiss migrants, Roger Schuler and Franz Ulrich.
Schuler established his chicken farm in 1946, in Santa Clara and branded his products as "Productos Avícolas de La Granja Azul” (Poultry products of La Granja Azul).
But, by 1950, business figures hit rock bottom and he filed for bankruptcy. Schuler then decided to team up with Franz Ulrich and open up a restaurant that specialized in roasted chicken.
Schuler had experimented with cooking chicken after observing his cook’s techniques. He thought of the spice combination and placing the meat over hot coals for cooking.
On the other hand, Ulrich specialized in mechanical works and he designed a special furnace called rotombo. It had rotating iron bars where several chickens could be grilled together.
After some deliberation, they decided to use a special Algarrobo charcoal for grilling.
For marinating, they used aji panca, salt, soy sauce, pepper, cumin, and black mint. The final result was pollo a la brasa.
Together, Ulrcih and Schuler opened a small restaurant, La Granja Azul, that served roasted chicken. The menu was affordable for most which resulted in the restaurant’s popularity.
The consumption of pollo a la brasa increased when other competitors created their own brand of pollo a la brasa.
Fast forward to 1970 and there were many restaurants in Lima, serving Peruvian roasted chicken.
While the method of cooking by using a mechanized rotisserie remained the same, each restaurant added their own unique touch to the recipe.
With time, the traditional rotombo was modified by including a door, chimney, and a pulley system. Later, steel ovens that reduce the cooking time by a lot started becoming popular.
One more thing…
La Granja Azul still exists in Carretera Central and is run by the Schuler family. When you visit Peru, make sure to visit the original birthplace of this famous dish. Keep in mind, the dish is traditionally eaten with fingers, sans cutlery.
What Makes Pollo a La Brasa Special?
No two Peruvian restaurants will serve the dish in the same way. Each has its own secret recipe for the sauce.
That said, no matter how it’s prepared, the combination of warm and spicy flavors is unique and goes with a multitude of sides.
This dish is so popular in Peru, every third Sunday in July is celebrated as the Day of pollo a la brasa in Peru.
Over 135 million roasted chickens are consumed by Peruvians in a year. No wonder, it stands in the same position along with other iconic dishes like Aji de Gallina, Ceviche, and Papas a la Huancaina.
The Unique Combination of Flavors
Walk into any Peruvian restaurant, and you’ll be served pollo a la brasa with French fries, salad, and dipping sauce.
Many restaurants in Peru and Columbia also serve the dish with tortillas and beans or rice. Some places will also serve pollo a la brasa with pitchers of Inca Cola.
You’ll get the true authentic family- style dining experience at a pollo a la brasa restaurant.
Point is, when it comes to eating chicken, pollo a la Brasa is one of the most flavorful options.
To Sum Up
Pollo a la brasa has unique flavours that are versatile with other sides. You can make it an indulgent dish and consume it with fries or, you can eat it with a big bowl of fresh greens. You’ll never grow tired of the warm and spicy flavours of pollo a la brasa.
If you’re looking to try pollo a la brasa, we’ll be available for delivery. COMING SOON.