These Butterflied Peruvian Chicken Drumsticks with Green Sauce are the ultimate chicken dinner! When my good friend, and Over the Fire teammate, Brad Prose made these drumsticks they went viral online. People from all walks of life cooked them with their own spin of flavor. I thought it was time for me to follow suite and give them a try with a flavor combo of my own.
This recipe starts with butterflied chicken drumsticks that are soaked in a flavorful marinade, grilled until tender and slightly crispy, then topped with a fresh and creamy homemade cilantro green sauce.
Prep the Chicken for Butterflied Peruvian Chicken Drumsticks with Green Sauce
First, prep your chicken drumsticks! Use a sharp knife to slice one area of the drumstick from the top to the bottom all the way down to the bone. Pull apart the two sides of the slice and separate the bone so the chicken is laying open and flat. Be sure that part of the meat is still connected on the opposite side of the first cut, because we don’t want it to be fully disconnected from the bone.
Butterflying the chicken helps the it cook a bit faster because we’re flattening out the meat. It also creates a larger surface area for our marinade and seasonings to attach too. Another benefit to cooking drumsticks this way is that it results in more of those crispy edges we all love. Overall, just know that more surface area equals more flavor!
Marinate the Chicken for Butterflied Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce
Next, we marinate the chicken. First, make your marinade. The marinade is a combination of cilantro, garlic cloves, lime juice, soy sauce, Aji Amarilla paste, Aji Panca paste, cumin, salt, pepper, and canola oil.
Blend all of the marinade ingredients together in a food processor until the mixture is smooth. Next, add the chicken into a food-safe bowl or bag, then pour the marinade over top. Make sure you save 2-3 ounces of the marinade so you can use it for basting later on.
Place the chicken and marinade into the fridge and let it sit for at least 4 hours. If you have time, I recommend letting it marinate overnight so the flavors have time to really infuse into the chicken. The longer it marinates, the better the flavor, texture, and of course the better the butterflied Peruvian chicken with green sauce!
Make the Green Sauce
Y’all know I’m a sauce guy. Whether it’s for a dunk, a drizzle or a dip – I’m a believer that sauce can take any normal recipe to the next level. This green sauce recipe could not be easier to make and the result is a fresh, creamy, spicy, salty, sweet, and tangy sauce that pretty much can’t be beat.
To make your sauce, combine cilantro, mayonnaise, serrano peppers, parmesan cheese, olive oil, aji amarilla paste, honey, and lime juice in your food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, then set it aside until you’re ready to serve.
Time to Grill
Next, grill the chicken for your butterflied Peruvian chicken drumsticks with green sauce! First, preheat a medium-high heat fire for direct cooking. Remove the chicken from the fridge and discard the marinade, then place the drumsticks onto the grill. Cook until they reach an internal temperature of 170ºF, flipping every 3-4 minutes because nobody likes burnt chicken. In the last few minutes of cooking, baste the chicken with the reserved marinade to keep it extra moist and flavorful!
Pull the drumsticks off of the grill and let them rest for 5-6 minutes. We want the juices to settle into the meat before we slice into it!
Serve the Butterflied Peruvian Chicken Drumsticks with Green Sauce
Next up, the best part of every meal: serving! Or eating, rather.
To serve the chicken drumsticks, drizzle them with the prepared green sauce. You can also serve the sauce on the side for dipping if preferred.
Now, dig in!
Butterflied Peruvian Chicken Drumsticks with Green Sauce
- 12-15 Chicken Drumsticks
- 1 cup Cilantro
- 8-10 Garlic Cloves
- 4 medium Limes juiced
- 2.5 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1.5 tbsp Aji Amarillo Paste
- 1.5 tbsp Aji Panca Paste
- 1 tbsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Canola Oil
- 1 cup Cilantro
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Serrano Peppers stemmed
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Aji Amarillo Paste
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 2 medium Limes juiced
- Begin prepping your chicken drumsticks. Using a really sharp knife, slice one area on the drumstick from top to bottom all the way down to the bone. Pull apart the two sides of the slice and begin separating the meat from the bone so that the chicken drumstick is flayed open and flat. Make sure to leave some part of the meat, on the opposite side of the first cut, still connected. Repeat this for all of your drumsticks.
- In a food processor, add all the ingredients for the marinade and blend until smooth. Add all of your chicken drumsticks to a food safe bowl or bag and pour the marinade over top (make sure to save 2-3oz of marinade for basting later). Mix together thoroughly, cover and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight.
- The next day, preheat a medium high heat fire (around 350-375F) for direct cooking.
- In a food processor, add all the ingredients for the Green Sauce and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
- Pull your drumsticks out of the marinade and discard any excess marinade. Place them onto the fire and cook them for 20-25 minutes until they reach 170F internal. Make sure to flip them every 3-4 minutes to prevent burning, and move the chicken around in case you have a hotter spot on your grill. Right before they are done, baste the outside of the meat with the reserve marinade. Once done, pull them off and let them rest for 5-6 minutes.
- Drizzle the green sauce over the top of the drumsticks or serve on the side. Enjoy!