Margarita's International Recipes


Picante de Pollo

Chicken in a Spicy Sauce

There are many variations of this traditional Bolivian dish, probably as many as there are cooks. I chose this particular one because it was simple, straightforward and, as it was written for a non-Bolivian audience, I could understand the list of ingredients. Finding the ají amarillo, or yellow pepper, proved a challenge, none of my local stores carried it. I finally found it at the Supermercados Vallarta in Los Angeles, but then only in sauce rather than powder form. Using that was my major deviation from the original recipe.

I didn't think much of the final results. While spicy, I felt the chicken lacked flavor. Mike, however, really liked it as did Mika (though the sauce was too spicy for her). I served it with steamed rice; boiled potatoes and a tomato/onion sauce are other classical accompaniments.

Picante de Pollo


  • 4 tsp. ají amarillo sauce.
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • water
  • 3 tps. vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • ˝ tsp. ground oregano
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 3 ˝ lbs chicken pieces
  • 2 small carrots, julienne
  • 1 tbsp. bread crumbs


In a small bowl, combine ají amarillo, pepper, salt and ground cumin with 1/4 cup of water. Mix and set aside.

In a large pot, heat oil. Add the chopped onions and fry until golden. Add the ají amarillo mixture, the oregano, the cinnamon and ˝ cup of water. Bring to a boil and cook until the water boils off. Add an additional ˝ cup of water and repeat.

Add the chicken pieces, coat with the onions, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add ˝ cup of water, mix, cover again and simmer for ˝ hour.

Add the julienne carrots and simmer for 15 more minutes. Uncover, add the bread crumbs and adjust the seasoning.

Adapted from Magali Sarmiento de Dupleich's recipe at the

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