A wonderful ingredient common in Andean cooking is ají amarillo paste, made from yellow chiles. Happily, it’s readily available online and at Latin American markets—you’ll find yourself reaching for it for many marinades and sauces. If desired, the chicken can be spit-roasted on a rotisserie or roasted in an oven.
For the chicken and brine:
- 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
- 2 quarts cold water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- Extra virgin olive oil, for basting
For the creamy green sauce:
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped 2 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts coarsely chopped
- 2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon ají amarillo paste (see above)
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Remove and discard the fat just inside the neck and body cavities of the chicken as well as the giblets (discard or set aside for another use).
In a large deep mixing bowl or stockpot, stir the salt and water until the salt is dissolved. Submerge the chicken in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
Drain the chicken, rinse under cold running water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Fold the wing tips behind the back and tie the legs together with butcher’s string. Brush the chicken with olive oil.
Set up the grill for indirect grilling, place a drip pan in the center, and heat the grill to medium-high. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the chicken in the center of the grate over the drip pan and away from the heat and cover the grill. Make the green sauce while the bird cooks: In a blender jar or the bowl of a food processor, combine all the sauce ingredients and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
Grill the bird until the skin is golden brown and crisp and the meat is cooked through, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, basting occasionally with olive oil. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to test for doneness; the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh should be 165°F. Carefully remove the bird from the grill and let it rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Serve with the sauce.
Serves 2 to 4