Smoked Chicken “Peruvian Style”

Smoked chicken has always been a favorite of mine.  It’s simple, flavorful and easy to cook.  However, sometimes you just want to take the flavors up a few notches, and this recipe definitely does that.  Read on for my “Smoked Chicken Peruvian Style” recipe!

International flavor time!

For the last few months, I’ve been working on a new cookbook.  As part of that, I’ve been bringing in a lot of international flavors into my grilling and BBQ-ing, and I’ve fallen in love with some of the seasonings and flavor profiles in the world.  Peruvian Roast Chicken has been a popular recipe for a while, but I wanted to make it a little different and add a smoked component to it.  It really turned out well, and was super flavorful.

Peruvian chicken mixed with American smoke can’t be beat!

One of my favorite ingredients has always been chipotle peppers.  I especially love them in adobo sauce, as they add a depth of flavor to dishes.  Aji Panca paste is a Peruvian pepper paste that reminds me of chipotles in adobo sauce, but without as much spice.  It has a wonderful depth of flavor, and adds that umami-ness, or “missing something” component to many dishes.

It’s all in the marinade for great smoked chicken

This marinade is super easy to make.  It is best if you marinade the chicken overnight to allow the flavors to really soak in. As we are smoking this, you will not get the super crispy skin of a roasted chicken, but I think the flavor makes up for it.  However, depending on the smoker you use, you can come pretty close.

The Smoker

For this recipe, I used a drum smoker.  This recipe works well on any smoker, or even a grill with a two-zone fire.  One of the nice things about the drum smoker is that it’s easy to keep a consistent smoking temperature, but if you remove the top it will quickly turn into a grill.  When the chicken reaches almost done (I smoke the chicken until it reaches 170 degrees internal temperature in the thigh,) remove the top, flip the chicken, and let it finish up on the “grill” to crisp up the skin. I like to use pecan wood for it’s amazing smoke flavor.

If you don’t have a drum smoker, this is easily done with a two-zone fire.  Simply prepare your grill with your coals and wood on one side, and your chickens on the other side.  You may need to add some charcoal through the cooking process.  (Remember, better to add small amounts more often than large amounts of charcoal at one time.) At the end of smoking, simply flip the chicken over to the hot side to finish up.

The Green Sauce to bring it all together!

Peruvian roast chicken is usually served with a zesty green sauce.  Check out the recipe here!  It’s creamy, fresh and has just the right amount of kick! (It’s also great on just about any grilled fish or meat!). The spice comes from Aji Amarillo Paste, another paste made from Peruvian Peppers.  Aji Amarillo peppers have a more yellowish-golden hue, and are significantly spicier than Aji Panca peppers.

As always, I hope you enjoy!

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Smoked Chicken “Peruvian Style”


Add flavor to your chicken dinner with this wonderful Peruvian style Smoked Chicken!


  • 2 TBS Aji Panca paste
  • 2 TBS minced garlic
  • 1 TBS sherry vinegar
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 lime (juice from 1/2 lime)
  • 2 TBS Cilantro (lightly chopped)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken, 4.5-5.5 lbs


  1. Add all marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk.
  2. Place chickens in a large ziplock bag or other container, and pour marinade over them. Chicken will be better if left to marinate at least 12 hours.
  3. Prepare smoker to run at 275 degrees
  4. place chicken on smoker, and allow to cook for approximately 1.5 hours, or until thigh temperature is 170 degrees. Flip chicken over a hot zone or grill to crisp up the skin if desired.
  5. remove the chicken and let rest for 4-5 minutes. Serve with Peruvian Green Sauce for some added flavor!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour

4 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Going at this again as the weather in Maine is finally lending itself to being outside. Last time I did it it was off the charts good as is. The sauce is fabulous! Doing the green beans this time as well, looks great. Thanks.

  2. The recipe list calls for”4 1/2 chickens”… do you really mean “whole chickens” or do you mean like 4.5 lbs of “bone-in chicken parts” (like bone-in thighs)?

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