19 Best Latin American Chicken Recipes

Grilled Chicken Legs With Vegetable Skewers

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Chickens are not native to Latin America. They're an import from Europe though there is a debate about the possibility of chickens coming to South American from Polynesia. 

Nowadays, Latin America is quite well known for certain popular chicken dishes, such as arroz con pollo and Peruvian-style Pollo a la Brasa. Peruvian roasted chicken is popular for a reason. It's popular due to the unique combination of spices used that gives the meat an extra bit of flavor. The dish has an interesting background. It was made famous by a couple of Swiss expats in the 1950s at their restaurant La Granja Azul. They designed and patented the mechanical spit that roasts multiple chickens simultaneously (el rotombo). The restaurant is still popular after decades. That's how you know they've done it right.

The word in Spanish for the hen is gallina, and gallo is the word for a rooster. 

However, when you are speaking of chicken meat (as in to eat), you typically use the word pollo. But a few recipes still use the words gallina or gallo such as the dish, sancocho de gallina, which is a hen soup. It used to be that people distinguished between the flavors and cooking uses of hens versus roosters. 

That's just the tip of the iceberg, however. Continue to discover a list of recipes for more interesting South American ways to prepare and enjoy chicken.

  • 01 of 19

    Cumin Lime Chicken (Pollo a La Plancha)

    Grilled Chicken Breasts in Lime Sauce

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    This delicious recipe calls for chicken breast. The breast is grilled, but not before it's first brined in salt water. The chicken is then marinated in lime juice and seasoned with cumin, salt, and pepper. 

  • 02 of 19

    Peruvian Stewed Chicken in Cilantro Sauce (Seco de Pollo)

    Peruvian Dish: 'Seco de Pollo'

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    Seco de Pollo isn't a complicated recipe. It's stewed chicken mixed with peas, carrots, and potatoes, cooked together in a delicious cilantro sauce. This Peruvian specialty can be modified to replace the chicken with beef (Seco de Res), lamb (Seco de Cordero) and duck (Seco de Pato).

  • 03 of 19

    Green Chicken With Rice (Arroz con Pollo Verde)

    Biryani Chicken With Basmati Rice

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    Arroz con pollo is popular in Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and throughout Latin America. Various versions of this dish are seasoned with turmeric (a Latin American substitute for saffron), which gives the rice a yellow color. This popular Peruvian-style dish, however, is green (verde), and gets its color from lots of cilantro. The other difference in this dish is that the broth is flavored with beer. 

  • 04 of 19

    Chicken With Onions and Capers (Pollo en Escabeche)

    Pollo en Escabeche Recipe

    The Spruce Eats, 2017.

    Here's a dish that came to South America from Spain. Escabeche is a dish in which meat and vegetables are cooked in an acidic vinegar sauce.

    Continue to 5 of 19 below.
  • 05 of 19

    Chicken Fried Rice With Okra (Frango con Quiabo e Angu)

    Stir-Fried Okra Beef

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    This recipe for fried rice with okra (Arroz Frito com Quiabo) requires that fresh okra is sautéed whole. You can experiment with it by adding various vegetables, chicken, or even sausage.

  • 06 of 19

    Peruvian Spicy Creamed Chicken (Aji de Gallina)

    Aji de Gallina

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    The classic Aji de Gallina gets its yellow color and mild spiciness from aji amarillo peppers. Its delicious flavor comes from a special and unique cream sauce that's made with ground walnuts.

  • 07 of 19

    Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken Thighs

    Slow Cooker Crockpot Meal With Chicken and Herbs

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    This simple dish is low-maintenance. Just put the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook for 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours. Put the chicken over warm Mexican-style rice and add a salad.

  • 08 of 19

    Chicken and Rice a la Valenciana (Arroz con Pollo Nicaraguense)

    Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

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    This recipe is a variation of the classic Latin American arroz con pollo (chicken and rice). It's most popular in Nicaragua, where it's most often served with toast.

    Continue to 9 of 19 below.
  • 09 of 19

    Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken With Yellow Potatoes (Pollo a la Brasa)

    Home Rotisserie Chicken

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    This Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken has a unique seasoning, and a delicious side of yellow potatoes accompanies it. The chicken (giblets removed) is soaked in salt water for 12 hours. There's little doubt that's what enhances the flavor to another level.

  • 10 of 19

    Chimichurri Chicken en Croute

    Homemade Pie Stuffed With Broccoli, Chicken and Cheese

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    Chimichurri sauce is mixed with cream cheese and seasoned chicken breasts. The mix is added inside a puff pastry shell, and then, it's all baked. The result is unparalleled deliciousness.

  • 11 of 19

    Pollo a la Brasa Chicken Breasts

    Fried Chicken Breast Vegetables

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    This recipe is a variation of the Pollo a la Brasa recipe that originated in Lima in the 1950s by two Swiss expatriates, at their restaurant La Granja Azul. This recipe substitutes rotisserie chicken with boneless chicken breasts.

  • 12 of 19

    Guava Glazed Chicken

    Hawaiian Guava Chicken

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    The guava glazed chicken is a relative of sweet and sour chicken. Tropical guava has a sweet and spicy flavor. In this case, it replaces the pineapple used in sweet and sour chicken.

    Continue to 13 of 19 below.
  • 13 of 19

    Chicken Breasts With Ginger Passion Fruit Sauce

    Grilled Chicken Breast With Broccoli, Tomato and Passion Fruit, Dragon Fruit

     

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    Ginger and passionfruit juice are the main ingredients for the sauce that sets this recipe apart from the other recipes in this round-up. It'll add an incredible sweet-savory flavor to chicken breasts.

  • 14 of 19

    Peruvian Chicken Stir-Fry (Pollo Saltado)

    Pollo Saltado

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    The Pollo Saltado is made using onion, red bell pepper, and tomato. Quite a few ingredients are added to this Peruvian style stir-fry it to give it a little bit of spice. Discover how it's done.

  • 15 of 19

    Chicken With Kale, Tomatoes, Amaranth and Quinoa

    Grilled Chicken with Quinoa and Brown Rice Salad

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    Traditional Andean Quinoa and amaranth both fill this dish with protein. In this recipe, amaranth becomes the breading for sautéed chicken. It's fun to toast quinoa and amaranth in a skillet because they'll pop just like popcorn.

  • 16 of 19

    Quinoa With Pasta Sauce and Cheese

    Green Mac and Cheeze on Linen

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    This quick and simple fix is a healthier alternative to a bowl of pasta with sauce. It can be prepared to be a spread for sautéd vegetables. And, you can even add cooked and drained Italian sausage, ground beef, or turkey if you'd like.

    Continue to 17 of 19 below.
  • 17 of 19

    Yellow Potatoes With Chicken Salad (Causa Rellena con Pollo)

    Causa Rellena de Pollo

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    Causa is an intriguing mix of the abundant flavors that are found in the region of Peru. It's traditionally composed of mashed yellow potatoes, ground yellow ají pepper, and lemon juice. This recipe takes the dish to a new level.

  • 18 of 19

    Empanadas de Pollo (Chicken Empanadas)

    Homemade Stuffed Chicken Empanadas

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    This delicious recipe begins with dough stuffed with a traditional chicken filling, caramelized onions, olives, and pieces of hard-cooked egg. But, you can be as creative as you'd like with the stuffing.

  • 19 of 19

    Brazilian Chicken Croquettes (Coxinha)

    Brazilian Deep Fried Chicken Snack

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    Coxinha is a famous Brazilian street food snack. It's a dough shaped into a drumstick. The interior is filled with a creamy chicken salad. Then, it's all battered and deep-fried.