Peruvian Chicken Stir-Fry (Pollo Saltado)

Pollo saltado
Marian Blazes
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1109 Calories
113g Fat
20g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1109
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 113g 145%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 453mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 45mg 227%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 530mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Latin recipe for chicken stir-fry is known as pollo saltado. It is a close cousin of lomo saltado, a beef stir-fry with chile peppers, vegetables, and potatoes and one of the best-known Peruvian dishes.

Pollo saltado includes an onion, red bell pepper, and tomato, and it has a great spice content. It comes together quickly, especially if you use frozen French fries rather than making fries from scratch. It's also a great dish to use up leftover cooked chicken. It does require a marinade, however, though this can be done a day or two ahead to maximize the flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 medium chicken breasts, sliced into 2-inch strips

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 tablespoon aji panca or diced fresh chile pepper, to taste

  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil, or as needed

  • 2 cups frozen steak fries

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 medium red onion, sliced

  • 2 medium red bell peppers, sliced

  • 1 medium tomato, diced

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the pieces of chicken breast in a plastic zipper bag with the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, cumin, paprika, and aji panca paste. Seal and mix well then set aside to marinate for at least 2 hours, though it can be done for as much as 12 to 48 hours.

  2. In a heavy skillet with tall sides, pour 1 to 2 inches of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Fry the French fries until golden brown, in batches if necessary. Set aside on paper towels to cool. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. In a separate skillet over medium heat, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the marinated chicken and brown quickly on both sides.

  4. Add the marinade and cook the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes more, just until it is no longer pink when sliced. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

  5. Add the garlic and onions to the skillet and sauté them until soft in the remaining marinade.

  6. Add the red peppers and tomato and sauté over medium-high heat until they're just starting to brown.

  7. Add the chicken back to the skillet. Season with more soy sauce if desired. Add the French fries, tossing gently, and remove from heat.

  8. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over warm rice.

Really, Rice and Potatoes?

It's true that many of us have been taught that rice and potatoes are not good dinner companions. After all, that is a lot of starch in a single meal. However, in Peruvian cuisine, it is perfectly acceptable to serve potatoes with rice, so you will see it often as you explore the country's food. Look at it this way, you will not go away from the dinner table hungry!