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  • Writer's pictureCecilia Tupac

Arroz con Pollo con Papa a la Huancaína: A Classic Peruvian Combination

Arroz con Pollo with Papa a la Huancaina

A gastronomic paradise, Peru is home to a plethora of amazing native ingredients and intriguing culinary delights. Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken) and Papa a la Huancaína (Potatoes in Huancaína Sauce) are two of the country's most beloved dishes and are famous in their own right.


In this recipe, we combine these classics and show you how to make a delicious Peruvian Arroz con Pollo served with a creamy side of Papa a la Huancaína.


What is Arroz con Pollo?


Peruvian Arroz con Pollo Recipe: Rice with Chicken

One of Peru's most cherished dishes, Arroz con Pollo is a flavourful rice dish that consists of tender pieces of seasoned chicken and vegetables such as carrots, corn, and peas.


Vibrant in colour and full of flavour, this dish is infused with lots of coriander, giving it a unique green tint and aromatic taste. As with many of Peru's dishes, it is usually served with a pickled lime and onion salsa called "salsa criolla," which adds an extra layer of flavour and texture.


What is Papa a la Huancaína?


Papa a la Huancaina Peruvian Recipe

"Papa a la Huancaína" is the name given to a traditional potato-based dish originating from the Andean city of Huancayo. Normally served as a starter, Papa a la Huancaína consists of potatoes smothered in a creamy, slightly spicy yellow sauce.


Like Arroz con Pollo, Papa a la Huancaína is one of Peru's most popular dishes and is prepared in households and restaurants throughout the country.


Arroz con Pollo and Papa a la Huancaína Combination


While very popular on their own, Peruvians also enjoy combining different dishes. Many people love the flavour of the creamy sauce with the rice and chicken.


A popular starter, Papa a la Huancaína is often served with other classic dishes such as Tallarines Rojos, Pollada, and Arroz Chaufa.

How to Make Arroz con Pollo


To make a delicious Arroz con Pollo, follow the steps below:


  1. Season the Chicken: Add salt, pepper and cumin to the chicken thighs/drumsticks.

  2. Prepare the vegetables: Chop onions, carrots and red bell peppers. Blend coriander leaves into a smooth paste.

  3. Brown the Chicken: Fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes and then remove from the pot.

  4. Prepare the Base: In the same pot, add onions, garlic paste, aji amarillo paste and spices. Continue to mix for a few minutes and then add in and cook the the coriander paste.

  5. Add the Chicken: Place the browned chicken back into the pot and mix with the base sauce. Add water or chicken stock to cover the chicken, and leave to boil for around 20-25 minutes.

  6. Add the Rice and Vegetables: Remove the cooked chicken and add the rice in the same pot, and then add the vegetables such as the peas, carrots and peppers.

  7. Leave to cook: Leave the rice and vegetables to boil for around 18-20 minutes, until they have soaked up all the liquid.

  8. Serve: Add the chicken back into the pot and serve.

How to Make Papa a la Huancaína


Now it's time for the Papa a la Huancaína! Follow the recipe below to combine with your Arroz con Pollo:


  1. Boil the potatoes: Start by boiling the potatoes until they are nice and tender and then slice them.

  2. Fry onion, garlic and peppers: On a low-medium heat, add some oil and fry onion, garlic and then add in the chopped aji amarillo peppers for a further 2-3 minutes.

  3. Add in the cheese: Now it's time to grate the cheese and let it melt into the sauce. In Peru, we use a cheese called 'Queso Fresco'.

  4. Pour the sauce: Once the cheese has melted into the sauce, pour it over the potatoes an serve with lettuce, black olives and a boiled egg.

Arroz con Pollo con Papa a la Huancaína Recipe


If you prefer a visual guide for your recipes, then watch the video below.


Arroz con Pollo con Papa a la Huancaína Ingredients:


Arroz con Pollo:


  • 6 chicken pieces

  • 2 tablespoons of aji amarillo paste

  • 1 pepper

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste

  • 1/4 cup of beer

  • 70 gr of carrot

  • 70 gr of corn

  • 70 gr of peas

  • 2 cups of rice

  • 2 cups of chicken stock (or water)

  • 1/2 cup of coriander

  • 1/2 cup of spinach

  • Salt, pepper and cumin to taste


Papa a la Huancaína:


  • 5 ajies amarillos or 4 peppers

  • 1/2 onion

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 200 ml of evaporated milk

  • 90 gr of cheese

  • 4 crackers

  • Salt and pepper to taste

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