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Smokey Peruvian Chicken Recipe – Where There’s Smoke Book Review

by Jeanette on July 12, 2013 · 27 Comments
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This Smokey Grilled Peruvian Chicken is bathed in a citrusy marinade and then cooked on the grill, using smoke as an ingredient.

Smoked Peruvian Chicken © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Have you ever tried smoking food on the grill? I don’t have a charcoal grill, but recently, I tried smoking chicken and carrots on my gas grill. Smoke generated from flavorful wood can add an extra complexity of flavor when you’re grilling, whether it’s an animal protein or vegetables. I am definitely a novice when it comes to smoking food, but I am interested in exploring this area more.

Smoky Peruvian Chicken © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Recently, I received a copy of Barton Seaver’s newest cookbook, Where There’s Smoke, which is all about simple, sustainable, delicious grilling. Barton Seaver’s first cookbook, For Cod And Country, had caught my eye a while back, and I was anxious to learn more about his passion for educating people about the interrelationship between our health and the health of our environment, both land and sea.

Reprinted with permission from Where There’s Smoke © 2013 by Barton Seaver, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. by Barton Seaver

Barton Seaver, a chef, who created three top restaurants in Washington, D.C., actually quit his job as a chef to work with various organizations to bring awareness to the public of living and eating sustainably in our environment. For Barton, food is not just about nourishment, it’s about building community, friendship, love, sense of self and much more.

In his newest cookbook, Where There’s Smoke, Barton intertwines practical tips on how to:

    • Grill using smoke (using techniques that are healthier and greener),
    • Pair wines with grilled food
    • Season food to pair with wine, and
    • Entertain while enjoying your guests

Barton views smoke as an ingredient (each type of wood has its own unique aroma and flavor), as basic as stock or olive oil, using it to add richness and fullness to the foods he prepares. The key is to manage the smoke properly.

Although there are some health concerns when it comes to grilling, Barton does a nice job suggesting safer, healthier, and greener ways to grill, including using indirect heat and serving smaller portions of protein alongside lot of vegetables (animal protein naturally contains compounds that become carcinogenic when subjected to high heat, something that vegetables do not contain). Throughout the book, Barton emphasizes the importance of the care given in raising the very food that you cook and eat.

Smokey Peruvian Chicken © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Typically, you might expect mostly meat lover recipes in a grilling cookbook, but Where There’s Smoke is packed with vegetable dishes, some grilled, some not, as well as a variety of protein dishes (he suggests sustainably raised). In fact, Barton makes a point to make vegetables center stage, with enticing recipes such as Charred Brussels Sprouts with Orange-Pecan Dressing, Grilled Cauliflower with Mint and Parmesan, Grilled Lacinato Kale and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Mint Pesto.

There are seven chapters in Where There’s Smoke:

  1. Welcome (Drinks + Starters)
  2. Setting the Stage (Soups + Salads)
  3. Stars (Vegetables + Accompaniments)
  4. Fish + Shells (Fish + Shellfish)
  5. Wings (Chicken, Turkey + Duck), and
  6. Hooves (Beef, Pork + Lamb).
  7. Basics (Barton’s signature recipes for seasoning mixes, marinades, oils, sauces, pickles and other condiments)

Smoked Peruvian Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce © Jeanette's Healthy Living

This Peruvian Chicken is the first recipe I tried. Like almost all of the recipes in Where There’s Smoke, this was an easy one to make, with a short list of ingredients. Barton Seaver’s approach is straightforward and relies on the freshest of ingredients, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by how incredibly good this dish was (sometimes the easiest recipes yield the best results).

Although my gas grill has a small smoker box on the right side, I decided to use a second smoker box, both filled with cherry wood chips (you could also use foil to wrap the chips). I placed the second smoker box on the left side of the grill, and the chicken in the middle of the grill. For the first five minutes of grilling, the chicken lay over direct heat, after which I moved the chicken to the right side of the grill and shut off the burners on that side. I let the chicken finish cooking over indirect heat, yielding a moist chicken with a light smoky flavor.

I had some fun playing around with Smoky Grilled Carrots too (this recipe is also in Barton Seaver’s cookbook). I’m looking forward to experimenting more with smoke as an ingredient.
Smoked Carrots © Jeanette's Healthy Living
On my list to try next are: Grilled Broccoli with Pecan Pesto and Parmesan, Grilled Bok Choy, Grilled Fish Tacos (Barton suggests brining the fish first which I found interesting), Jerk Spice-Smoked Chicken Breast, and Pickled Watermelon Rind.


And now, for the Giveaway! I have a copy of Barton Seaver’s Where There’s Smoke to giveaway to one lucky winner! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Smokey Peruvian Chicken Recipe

Rating: 51

Yield: 6

I'm a garlic lover, so I added some to the marinade. Serve with Chimichurri Sauce if you like. Reprinted with permission from Where There’s Smoke © 2013 by Barton Seaver, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.


  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons powdered chile pepper (I used ancho)
  • 3 1/2 - 4 pounds chicken parts


  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together lime juice, vinegar, salt and sugar.
  2. Combine olive oil, cumin, paprika, and chile powder in a small saucepan; heat over medium heat until aromatic and oil begins to bubble, about 3 minutes. Add hot oil mixture to lime juice mixture. Let cool. Add chicken pieces to bowl and coat well with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Let the chicken come to room temperature before cooking it, about 30 minutes.
  3. Build a medium fire in a grill and add chunks of a flavorful wood such as maple, oak or hickory. When the wood has burned down to embers, place the chicken, skin side down, directly over the coals. Cook for 2 minutes, then rotate the grill grate so the chicken is away from the fire. Cover the grill and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F when inserted along the leg about, about 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer chicken to a platter and serve.

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  1. Samantha says:

    Looks simple enough! I will add more garlic too!

  2. OK, first we post the same recipe for Summerfest last week and now I find out you bought the same cookbook as me! We must be kindred spirits. I am just starting to read Smoke. Glad to know this one is a winner! I love all his takes on grilled/smoked veggies! Gorgeous pictures!

  3. I think it is a great idea to eat healthy to stay healthy. Food has a big effect on health!

  4. Jeanette Jeanette says:

    Katie – that is too funny! Wish we lived closer so we could cook together. Let me know what you end up making from the cookbook – there are so many recipes I want to try.

  5. Interesting cook book. Not sure if I missed it somewhere, is the giveaway only US or worldwide?
    Good point to eat protein rich meat with vegetables to balance it out. This is usually our approach to.
    I like the idea of the Peruvian smokey chicken. Anything smokey grilled can only be addictive anyway. =)

  6. Printing this! I think food is medicine and while it may not heal or cure every single ailment or disease, there is no better way to boost your immune system and have a fighting chance at health!

  7. Oh gosh, Jeanette. This chicken looks GORGEOUS. So smoky, tender and perfectly flavored and charred. Great recipe!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Georgia – this is one of the best grilled chicken dishes I think I’ve come across – it was a huge hit with the kids!

  8. Kathleen Faulkner says:

    Recipe looks fabulous. Can’t wait to try. We have been smoking or own meats and veggies for some time now. Always love to come acrossa new book or blog . Thanks for sharing!

  9. this looks like such a great meal, i’ve gotta try it

  10. Yum Yum Yum Jeanette you post the best recipes . All the ones that I have made my family has loved. We love peruvian food. I’m drooling just looking at this dish.

  11. Bethany C. says:

    I think it is definitely worth a try.

  12. I think there are so many things we can prevent by our diet, why not cure as well?

  13. I didn’t realize you could actually smoke things on a regular grill! Super cool…I’ll have to check out that veggie chapter!

  14. Oh my goodness! I have got to get my hands on this cookbook! This chicken recipe alone makes me drool! I can’t wait to delve into the others in the book.

  15. Margot C says:

    I think it’s quite possible to consider preventing Alzheimer’s through diet; in my case it may be a bit late though, ha!

  16. I love cooking with smoke. Can’t wait to try this one.

  17. Christopher Sorel says:

    I think many problems are diet related and not getting what you need for you body

  18. I think diet is a very important part of health, and especially for brain health. People underestimate the importance of a healthy diet!

  19. I definitely think it should be explored.

  20. I’m all for eating healthy foods to prevent or minimize disease.

  21. Our mental health is related to our digestion (as scientists are just beginning to realize), so it would definitely make sense that diet would be related to it and other diseases.

  22. Super delicious looking chicken.

  23. Oh. My. Goodness. Just made this today while we have a little break from the rain. While it may not have been sunny the overcast Oregon sky held back the rain long enough to light some coals and throw on some soaked cherry wood chips. The flavors are amazing and well balanced. I used a combination of Ancho Chile and Chipotle Chili powders, bringing just a touch of heat. I like the idea about the garlic. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  24. This looks amazing Jeanette! Definitely going to try this out for the barbecue in summer!

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