Pollo A La Brasa: Most Popular Peruvian Fast Food To Crave For

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Pollo a la Brasa is not just “chicken” in Peru. It is Peru’s favorite fast food.

This Peruvian chicken is so beloved that there are dedicated “Pollerias” or Peruvian fast food chains that specialize in this dish.

While in Peru exploring the local food specialties, we couldn’t miss this iconic grilled chicken dish. 

Find out more about Pollo a Brasa Peruvian fast food, including where to have it and a simple recipe to make it at home.

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What is Pollo A La Brasa?

Peru Chicken Peruvian Fast Food by Authentic Food Quest
Beloved fast food in Peru

Pollo a la Brasa is one of the most popular and consumed dishes in Peru. In its simplicity, it is a chicken dish marinated with herbs and spices and cooked on a rotisserie. 

It is also known as “Peruvian-style chicken”, “charcoal chicken” or “rotisserie chicken.” 

The Peru National Institute of Culture declared in 2004 Pollo a Brasa a “National Culinary Speciality.” 

This Peruvian fast food, Pollo a la Brasa even has its own National Holiday on the third Sunday of July. 

Origins Of Pollo A La Brasa

Pollo A La Brassa Peru Fast Food by Authentic Food Quest
Pollo a la Brasa served with potatoes from the Andes

Pollo a la Brasa originated in Lima in the 1950s. This Peruvian fast food was developed by Roger Schuler, a Swiss resident living in Peru. 

As the story goes, his chicken farm near Lima went bankrupt and to make ends meet he started selling whole roasted chicken.

His slogan, “eat as much chicken over coals as you can for only five soles,” attracted crowds due to the inexpensive pricing.

Needing to cook the chickens faster, he contacted his Swiss friend Franz who owned a mechanics shop. The goal was to create a device that cooks several chickens at once.

RELATED: 7 Authentic Peruvian Street Food You Want To Have

The Invention of Roasted Peruvian Chicken

Peruvian Fast food rotisserie
Meet the rotombo oven, revolutionizing Peruvian chicken

This led to the invention of the “rotombo” or “speido” oven with six metal rods and a capacity to hold eight chickens. 

The metal rods spin clockwise and independently at very high temperatures (300-370 degrees F). 

And, this method of cooking can hold 40 to 50 chickens at once cooking them uniformly while keeping the juices and flavors intact.

Roger and Franz opened the original Pollo a la Brasa restaurant, La Granja Azul in Lima, which became a success and spread all over the city.

Today, Pollo a la Brasa is consumed in most South American countries, and can also be found in the United States.

Discovering Pollo a la Brasa in Peru

Peruvian fast food by Authentic Food Quest
A finger-licking Peruvian fast food

Pollo a la Brasa is one of the most popular meals enjoyed by all in Peru.

Going to a Polleria is a popular activity with families gathering together on weekends to connect over Peruvian roast chicken. 

Part of the appeal is that the restaurants are not fancy and eating the chicken with your hands is encouraged.

While in Lima, it was a tough choice between Pardos Chicken and Las Canastas, two popular Peruvian fast-food chains for our first Peruvian roast chicken experience.

With our local limeña friends, we went to Las Canastas, which they said “had bigger chickens” than Pardos.

The menu was surprisingly short and consisted of different cuts of chicken, potatoes, and salads.

What We Thought of Peruvian Roast Chicken in Lima

Pollo Asado Con Salsa Huacatay Peruvian Street Food by Authentic Food Quest
Crispy, flavorful, and absolutely irresistible

We would have to say that this is one of the most delicious chicken dishes we have ever eaten

The herbs and spices coated the skin and it made it beautifully crisp as well. The chicken was rich in flavor and as juicy as you can imagine. 

You could order the whole chicken, the chicken breast, known as pecho, or the chicken leg or pierna. Both breast and leg were very fragrant, well-seasoned and and practically falling off the bone. 

RELATED: Peruvian Criollo Food Guide: Top 7 Dishes to Devour

Pollo A La Brasa Recipe – How To Make Peruvian Spicy Chicken

Roasted Chichen Fast Food Peru by Authentic Food Quest
Try our easy Pollo a la Brasa recipe

You can easily make the most delicious chicken dish from Peru in your home kitchen. 

With our Pollo a la Brasa recipe, we make this chicken dish in the oven to make it easier to savor this iconic dish.

This Peruvian style roasted chicken is made with Huacatay herb, which is native to the Andes Mountains of Peru.

Pollo A La Brasa Ingredients for Chicken and Marinade

Ingredients Fast Food Peruvian by Authentic Food Quest
Ingredients for Pollo a la Brasa

Ingredients for Aji Huacatay Sauce or Cilantro of the Andes

Huacatay Sauce Ingredients Fast Food in Peru by Authentic Food Quest
Ingredients for Huacatay sauce
  • Aji amarillo peppers
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vinegar (red or white wine vinegar)
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Huacatay leaves, substitute with Basil or Tarragon

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST RECIPE: Accompany your Peruvian rotisserie chicken at home, why not enjoy it with a Pisco Sour? See our simple How To Make An Authentic Peruvian Pisco Sour recipe

Pollo A La Brasa Recipe Tips

How To Make The Chicken Marinade

Chicken Marinade Peru Fast Food by Authentic Food Quest
Leave chicken in marinade overnight for the best flavor

To make a marinade for this Pollo a la Brasa recipe, mix all the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. 

When thoroughly mixed, add the chicken to the marinade and it over to coat all sides. 

Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight for the fullest flavors.

How To Make Aji Huacatay Sauce

Huacatay Sauce Fast Food Peruvian by Authentic Food Quest
Elevate your Pollo a la Brasa with homemade sauce

The Aji Huacatay sauce is a traditional green sauce made with Peruvian yellow chili peppers and Huacatay leaves.

In this Pollo a la Brasa recipe, we start by lightly roasting the yellow chili peppers in a skillet.

Once the peppers are slightly charred, remove them from the skillet and let them cool down to room temperature. 

Combine all the ingredients together in a blender and mix until you have a smooth sauce. 

Transfer the green sauce into a container and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Huacatay Sauce Substitutes

Pollo A La Brasa: Most Popular Peruvian Fast Food To Crave For 2Pollo A La Brasa: Most Popular Peruvian Fast Food To Crave For 3

You can substitute Huacatay Andean herbs with Basil or Tarragon for this Pollo a a Brasa recipe. However, if you want the real taste of Huacatay, you can buy Huacatay Paste on Amazon and use it for this recipe. 

How to Cook The Chicken

Grilled Chicken Peruvian Fast Food by Authentic Food Quest
We used an oven for this recipe
  • Oven Roasting: Making this Peruvian chicken in the oven, is an effortless way to taste the authentic flavors of this roasted chicken to your table. This is the easy recipe we use for this Pollo a Brasa Peruvian chicken recipe.
  • Grilling: The grilling or rotisserie method of making Pollo a la Brasa is the classic and traditional approach. In this case, after preheating the grill, you want to cook the chicken, on the side over indirect heat. Grill the chicken for about 20 minutes per pound and let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving it.

The Secret Behind Pollo a la Brasa’s Success

Pollo Huatacay Peru Fast Food by Authentic Food Quest
Mouthwatering marinated chicken

The secret of the success of Peruvian Pollo a la Brasa resides in its cooking methods and marinades. 

In Peru, each Polleria has its own secret marinade recipe. In addition to the Peruvian chicken marinade sauce, the key to great Pollo a la Brasa is the actual cooking method.  

This involves a rotisserie over wood coals that gives the chicken a sublime smoky flavor. 

The original recipe from La Granja Azul calls for the chicken seasoned with salt and cooked over carob tree firewood for the best flavors.

How To Serve Pollo a la Brasa

Served Pollo A La Brasa Fast Food In Peru by Authentic Food Quest
Peruvian roasted chicken is a flavorful tradition with must-have essentials

Eating pollo a la brasa is not like eating any good ol’ chicken in Peru. There is a protocol that is followed and “must-haves” around this Peruvian fast food. 

Peruvian Drinks

Peruvian fast food
Enjoying Pisco Sour with our Peruvian friends in Lima

At Peruvian restaurants in Lima, Peruvian-style roasted chicken is most often accompanied by the country’s famous cocktail, Pisco Sour.

While eating the meal, the other popular beverage options are Chica Morada, a traditional purple corn drink. Or, the country’s most popular soft drink, Inca Kola.

RELATED: Maca Drink from Peru: A Guide to The Incas Superfood (With Recipe)


Salad Peruvian fast food by AuthenticFoodQuest
Fresh Salad to go with the Peruvian chicken

Like in Peru, you make a simple fresh salad to accompany your famous Peruvian chicken dish. A typical Peruvian starter salad consists of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a creamy dressing.

Peruvian Sauces

Peruvian Sauces Fast Food Peru by Authentic Food Quest
Spice up your chicken with Aji Amarillo, Huacatay, and homemade mayo

To accompany Pollo a la Brasa, three different traditional sauces are typically offered.

In Lima, we savored our delicious Peruvian-style roasted chicken, with Aji Amarillo, a spicy yellow-orange colored sauce. P

A second green sauce known as Huacatay sauce, or Peruvian black mint paste was included. 

And, the final sauce of the trio was homemade mayonnaise.

Potato Fries

Chicken and Fries Fast Food Peruvian by Authentic Food Quest
Fries are a common side to Pollo a la Brasa

Potatoes originated in Peru more than 7,000 years ago. In the Andes mountain region, you can find more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes.  

Unsurprisingly, potatoes are a common ingredient in Peruvian cuisine. As such, potatoes are typically served alongside Pollo a la Brasa chicken dishes. 

As you make this Pollo a la Brasa recipe at home, consider accompanying your chicken dish with roasted potatoes.

Pollo A La Brasa Step by Step Instructions

Season Chicken

Prepare the chicken marinade seasoning and rub all over the chicken pieces until it is well coated.

After you have let the chicken rest for at least 2 hours or ideally overnight, place the chicken on a roasting pan as you pre-heat the oven.

Prepare Huacatay Sauce

Saute chopped aji amarillo peppers with garlic and let the peppers cook until slightly charred and the garlic is fragrant.

Combine all the marinade ingredients for the Huacatay green sauce together in a food processor or blender. 

Mix the charred aji amarillo peppers, garlic, fresh, Huacatay leaves, vinegar, and water until you have a smooth and homogeneous sauce

Grill Chicken and Serve with Huacatay Sauce

Grill the marinated chicken at 320°F (160°C) turning occasionally, until beautifully crisp and golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.

Serve your Peruvian style roasted chicken with freshly prepared Huacatay sauce

Where To Eat Pollo a la Brasa?

Peruvian Fast Food Chains in Peru

Peruvian fast food by Authentic Food Quest
Roky’s one of the most successful polleria in Lima

You generally don’t have to walk far in any Peruvian city to find a pollería. There are smaller family-run restaurants as well as major chains. 

The main Pollo a la Brasa chains are Pardos Chicken, Las Canastas, Roky’s, Norky’s, and Caravana. Norky’s and Roky’s are known to be the most successful chains. 

Pardos chicken and Las Canastas are slightly more high-end. And, in Lima, there is La Granja Azul the original, which remains an attractive and popular place. 

Chicken Peruvian Restaurant Chain in the US

La Granja Fast Food Peruvian by Authentic Food Quest
Taste Peruvian fast food in Florida – Photo credit: La Granja Restaurants on Facebook

In the US, you can find Peruvian restaurants in many cities and states across the country. However, there are not many Peruvian fast food chains that specialize in Pollo a la Brasa.

In South Florida, you’ll find La Granja Restaurant with locations in Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Tampa, and others.

In the eastern part of the United States, you’ll find Sardis’s Peruvian Chicken, a fast food chain with locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

RELATED: 10 Best Authentic Peruvian Restaurants in Miami to Try

Peru Chicken Peruvian Fast Food by Authentic Food Quest

Pollo A La Brasa Recipe

This easy Pollo a la Brasa recipe for oven-roasted Peruvian style chicken is juicy, spicy, and loaded with flavor. Rub the chicken with a tasty homemade marinade and serve it with Huacatay green sauce. Savor the authentic and delicious flavors of the most delicious chicken from Peru.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Peruvian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 439kcal
Author: Authentic Food Quest


Ingredients for Peruvian Chicken and Marinade:

Ingredients Huacatay Sauce Recipe:

  • 50 g aji amarillo peppers
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ cup Huacatay leaves fresh
  • ¼ cup water


For Chicken Marinade

  • Place the chicken pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle salt, pepper, ground cumin, smoked paprika, vinegar, aji amarillo, dried oregano, and minced garlic directly onto the chicken.
  • Rub the seasonings all over the chicken pieces until well-coated.
  • Place the seasoned chicken in a bowl and cover the bowl with cling film or saran wrap.
  • Put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the chicken meat.

For Huacatay Sauce

  • In a skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the aji amarillo peppers and the garlic clove. Sauté until the peppers are charred, and the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine the charred aji amarillo peppers, garlic, fresh Huacatay leaves, vinegar, and water. Blend until you have a smooth and homogeneous sauce.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, as needed.
  • Transfer the green sauce into a container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For Oven Roasted Chicken

  • Preheat the oven to medium-high heat, 320°F (160°C)
  • Place the chicken pieces, slightly drained, on a roasting pan.
  • Let the marinated chicken thighs roast, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown and cooked through about 45-50 minutes.
  • Serve the Peruvian grilled chicken hot, accompanied by the flavorful Huacatay sauce.
  • Enjoy this delicious and authentic Peruvian roast chicken dish.


  • Depending on your taste preferences, you can add more chili peppers to your aji amarillo to make a spicy sauce. 
  • If you want another Peruvian sauces that is milder and not as spicy, you can use Aji Panca instead.The Aji Panca is another common Peruvian pepper that is mildly spicy with fruity notes. It also pairs well with Pollo a la Brasa. 


Serving: 4 | Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating or tag us on @authenticfoodquest

61 Comments on “Pollo A La Brasa: Most Popular Peruvian Fast Food To Crave For”

  1. 5 stars
    I now know why Pollo a la Brasa is Peru’s favorite fast food! Such a delicious dish to serve to the family. Also, thanks for detailed instructions which make creating the Pollo a la Brasa easy.

  2. Great post! If you ever have the chance to come to the Washington DC Metropolitan area, do not be surprised to find many Peruvian “fast food” restaurants that sell the famous Peruvian chicken, just as exquisite as those you can find in Lima. Just to point out, that Peruvian food in general is exquisite, not just “Pollos a la brasa”. My favorite is Emma’s in Alexandria. A family owned joint, nothing fancy, but they put the money in the right place, the food.

    • Thanks so much, Enrique. Really appreciate your kind words. We are not familiar with Peruvian restaurants in the DC area, but were quite impressed by the number of Peruvian restaurants in Florida. Indeed, Peruvian cuisine is more than pollo a la brasa. We have a few more articles about Nikkei cuisine, Chifa, the food from Cusco also on the website. We also wrote a book, available on Amazon about Peruvian food. One of our favorites for sure. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers.

  3. Peru really is known for its cuisine, but I don’t even think I tried Pollo a la Brasa when I was there. My bad. I think I was eating too much of that $5 ceviche. With it’s exceptional marinade the roast chicken sounds like it would be a great fast meal, with maybe a pisco sour or two.

    • There are so many local food options in Peru and choosing can be difficult. The ceviche is to die for and it is understandable why you zeroed in on it:) On your next trip, give the pollo a la brasa a try and experience chicken, like no other. Thanks, Carol

  4. I would LOVE this!! Local twists on roasted chicken are some of my favourite travel meals – probably because they make me feel virtuous after eating so much stuff from local bakeries!

  5. Pollo a la brasa sounds delicious! I completely agree that it seems a shame to eat American fast food in countries that have wicked cheap, super fresh, street food that’s super fast. However, this doesn’t sound too unhealthy by any means. I love that so many places serve up this staple with their own twist.

    • You are so right, Paige. It’s a shame when tourists eat American fast foods when there are so many local, healthy cheap options available. Indeed, the twist to chicken dishes in different countries is interesting to explore. Appreciate you stopping by!

  6. Lots of good looking chicken dishes. We are not familiar with Peruvian food and never really thought of any uniquely Peruvian dish but this, as well as the country itself, looks very tempting.

    • If you haven’t tried Peruvian food, you are missing out 🙂 Visit a restaurant in your local area and be prepared to be amazed. Even better, a trip to Peru, just the for the food is worth it!! Thanks, Marcus and Mel!

  7. I have never tried Peruvian cuisine so this has been an informative post for me. Pollo A La Brasa looks pretty awesome even though it is basically roasted chicken. Thanks for listing the best places to try it, the traditional sauces, salad and the juicy chicken at Las Canastas appeals to me the most of all places!

    • Peruvian food is exquisite and worth discovering. In my (humble) opinion, the food alone is worth a trip to Peru. Visit for a Peruvian restaurant in your area and you’ll see what I’m talking about 🙂 And if you make it to Peru, La Canastas is a must!

  8. I love roasted chicken so this would be a special treat. I also love trying different types of sauces so it is fantastic that they give you a variety of sauces to choose from which is a big plus for me.

  9. We have never been to Peru so I was interested to see what the local food was like. The roasted chicken sounds and looks good. Thanks for sharing the ritual for eating. I would definitely try the Pisco Sour. Not sure about the purple corn beverage though. We would definitely stay away from the spicy sauce. I am now craving chicken!

    • So glad you enjoyed reading and discovering Peruvian food. Peruvian food is amazing and pollo a la brasa is just one delicious expression of the diverse food. If South America is on your travels plans, we highly recommend visiting Peru. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. We have a place here in Scottsdale where the Rotisserie chicken is to die for. But after reading this, the Peruvian chicken sounds like it may be a challenger! The Las Canastas sounds like the perfect stop while in Peru. The purple corn drinks sounds very interesting as well. We’ve got to get there!

    • Peruvian pollo a la brasa is simply amazing and stands above most rotisserie chicken places. Curious about your place in Scottsdale, though 🙂 La Canastas is worth a visit in Peru and the food, in general, is worth discovering. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Hi Danielle, yes there are vegetarian friendly options. This post is very specific to the pollo a brasa which is an authentic dish and one of the most popular fast foods in Peru. Certainly at any restaurant serving pollo a brasa, you will have salads and potatoes and other non-meat options. You will find Peru to be vegetarian-friendly 🙂

  11. Hahah – yes there is fast food in every country – Usually we call it local food/street food. I love these Peruvian delights – I am pretty sure I will make it there one day to try em. The traditional sauces look amazing.

    • Thanks Jo for your comments. In Peru, the fast food is different from the street food. The locals we met referred to pollo a la brasa as the alternative to McDonald’s or KFC and not in comparison to street food. It’s the name they give to cuisine to dishes that are prepared quickly. In any case, hope you make it to Peru and discover this amazing chicken for yourself 🙂

  12. Nice post, i’m more excited to go to Peru because roasted chicken is my fave food in the world! You had an awesome experience and thanks for sharing it!

    • Hi Carla, please do let us know when you get to Peru and have tried this delicious pollo a brasa. It is absolutely outstanding and you will love it. Glad you enjoyed reading the post. Thanks for your comments.

    • Hi Natasha, glad to hear that you enjoyed reading about the food in Peru. It is the gastronomy capital of South America and must be experienced 🙂 Please do check our site for more Peruvian dishes and let us know when you go. Cheers!

  13. I really enjoyed hearing the interesting story about the pollo a la brass, as well as the tips for how to eat it. Peru is definitely the next country in South America on my list to visit! When I go, I will be sure to review your posts for tips!

    • Hi Stella, that’s great that Peru is your next country to visit in South America. The food there is some of the best we’ve ever had. There is so much to choose from and everything is so fresh and tasty. Be prepared to eat lots 🙂 Indeed, please check back to the various posts we’ve written about the food in Peru. Have fun and thanks for your comments!

    • Hi John, so glad you enjoyed reading about this very popular Peruvian fast food. We certainly enjoyed discovering and (eating) the pollo a la brasa. Hope you have a chance to try out it out either in Peru or at a Peruvian restaurant near you. Let us know if you do. Cheers!


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