Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce is a freshly flavored entree that’s perfect for both parties and easy weeknight dinners with the family! Tender chicken thighs are made delicious with fresh lime juice and a medley of bold herbs and spices. The spicy cilantro sauce on the side is what really sends it over the top!
What’s in this Peruvian Chicken Recipe
Chicken thighs are marinated in a bold combination of ingredients that creates the most tender, mouthwatering results every time!
- Garlic Coves: You should only be using fresh garlic here, not pre-minced.
- Lime: For the very best flavor, use freshly squeezed lime juice and not the bottled alternative.
- Paprika: You can use smoked paprika instead if you’d like a subtle smokey flavor.
- Oregano: This is what gives the chicken a slight herbaceous flavor.
- Salt: Try to use kosher (coarse) or flaky sea salt.
- Cumin: The warm earthiness of this spice really does wonder for the chicken!
- Olive Oil: Try to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Chicken Thighs: For this Peruvian chicken recipe, I only ever use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
PRO TIP: You can also use skin-on chicken thighs, just know they will release much more fat. Drain most of the fat before you add the water and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
What’s in the green sauce?
The main stars of the show here are the serrano pepper (which keeps things on the spicier side), two full cups of cilantro, lime juice, and Greek yogurt for the creamy consistency. There are a few more additions like honey and olive oil to help balance all of those powerful ingredients!
I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. They have a slightly higher fat content and stay nice and juicy.
You can use chicken breasts too if that’s what you have, just be aware that they will cook through in less time, so take care not to overcook them.
There is a serrano pepper in the mix, though it’s tamed by the medley of other ingredients like Greek yogurt, honey, and cilantro. If you think the serrano may lend a bit too much heat for your tastes, swap it with a jalapeño which is much milder.
I’ve found that the perfect marinating time for this easy chicken thigh recipe is just 1 hour! That gives the marinade enough time to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with flavor.
How to Store and Reheat
Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. They can be served cold or warmed through in the oven at 350°F.
How to Freeze
Let the chicken cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container and popping it in the freezer. Properly stored, it’ll stay fresh for up to 3 months.
I like to serve this Peruvian chicken with rice, or you can keep it low-carb by serving it with cauliflower rice. If you have leftovers, these can be served cold with a fresh salad.
More Chicken Thigh Recipes We Love
- Huli Huli Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Baked Chicken and Rice
- Cajun Butter Chicken
- Lemongrass Chicken
- Harissa Chicken
Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce
For the Chicken
- 2 large garlic cloves grated
- Juice of ½ lime
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ cup olive oil divided
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ¼ cup water
For the Green Sauce
- 1 serrano pepper seeds and stems removed
- 2 cups cilantro
- 1 large garlic clove
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ½ tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp water
- Add garlic, lime juice, paprika, oregano, salt, cumin, and 2 tbsp of the olive oil to a large plastic bag. Add the chicken. Zip it up and massage the marinade into the chicken. Marinate for 1 hour.
- While the chicken marinates, make the green sauce.
- Add serrano pepper, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, honey, olive oil, Greek yogurt and salt to a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. If needed, add a tablespoon or two to thin the sauce out. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Once the chicken has marinated, heat a large skillet to a medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Using tongs, pull the chicken out of the marinade. Let any excess marinade drip off. When the oil is hot, add the chicken to the skillet. If needed, work in batches as you don’t want to overcrowd the skillet. Sear the chicken until crusty and grown, about 4-5 minutes. When the chicken is ready to flip, it should easily release from the pan. Flip over and do the same on the other side until cooked through, about another 3-4 minutes. The chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet on to a platter. Turn the heat on low and add the water to the empty skillet. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits at the bottom of the pan. Pour over the chicken.
- Serve chicken with green sauce and rice if desired.
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