Grilled Peruvian-Style Chicken

Grilled Peruvian-Style Chicken is tender, juicy and full of flavour. The marinade is easy to make and the chicken cooks quickly because it is spatchcocked before cooking.

Two spatchcock chickens on a charcoal grill

This chicken is so easy to make that it can even be made on a weeknight. Made with simple ingredients, the marinade can be made the night before, allowing the chicken to marinate for up to 24 hours before cooking.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to consumers. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Keep in mind that we link these products because of their quality, not because of the commission we may receive from purchases.

Ingredients For Grilled Peruvian-Style Chicken

This recipe is for a whole chicken of about 4-5 pounds. It is marinated for a minimum of 2 hours in a marinade made from:

  • Brown sugar. For this recipe, we use demerara sugar but dark brown sugar can be substituted.
  • Chili powder.
  • Paprika. Our go-to is smoked paprika but regular paprika can be used.
  • Cumin.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic is best in this recipe.
  • Ginger. Freshly grated ginger works best, but ground ginger can be used.
  • Soy sauce. Our choice for soy sauce is low-sodium so we can control the amount of salt in the marinade.
  • Lime juice and zest. One whole lime is zested and juiced for this marinade,
  • Olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the type we use.
  • Kosher salt.
  • Black pepper.

How Long To Marinate The Chicken

The marinade for this chicken is filled with flavour. To get all that flavour in to the chicken, it is best to marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours.

When we make this chicken, we like to prepare the marinade the night before to allow all the flavours to blend together. Then we pour it over the chicken in the morning and let the chicken marinate for at least 8-12 hours before cooking the chicken.

Sometimes we pour the marinade onto the chicken the night before so the marinade gets into the chicken really well.

Is This Chicken Grilled on Charcoal or Gas BBQ?

The answer to this question is both! This recipe has been tested on both a charcoal kettle grill and a propane BBQ. Both BBQ types yielded great results.

The charcoal BBQ added a smokiness to the flavour and is our choice for this recipe. When cooking over charcoal, we first seared the top of the chicken, then moved it to indirect heat to finish cooking.

When cooking on a propane or gas grill, the chicken is again seared over the burners then moved to the opposite side of the BBQ for indirect cooking.

How To Tell If the Chicken Is Cooked

It is always important to cook a chicken thoroughly. The internal temperature of a chicken breast should be 165℉. 

When cooking chicken, we always use a leave in thermometer to ensure it is properly cooked.

There are two types of leave in thermometers: corded and cordless. We use both and have success with both types.

Can This Recipe Be Made In The Oven?

Yes, it can also be roasted in the oven. To cook the chicken in the oven, we first sear the top of the chicken in a cast iron pan on the stove. Then transfer the chicken to a preheated oven to finish cooking.

How To Spatchcock a Chicken

Don’t let the word spatchcock turn you off this recipe. It is really an easy way to prepare chicken for cooking. (I was terrified of trying this for the longest time, until I did it and realized how simple it is.)

It also reduces the time it takes to cook, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner.

To spatchcock a chicken, you will need a pair of sharp kitchen shears. Using the shears, you will cut the spine from the chicken.

The first time I did this on my own, I watched this YouTube video on how to do it.

What To Serve With Grilled Peruvian-Style Chicken

This chicken is great served with any number of side dishes.

  • Rice. Steamed Basmati rice is perfect to serve this chicken with.
  • Grilled Vegetables. This chicken goes good with grilled corn on the cob, grilled asparagus, or grilled potatoes.
  • Salad. Try this chicken served on top of a garden salad with a cilantro dressing.
  • Baked potatoes. Serve the chicken with baked potatoes with butter and chives.
  • Sweet potatoes. Whether you serve mashed sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries, this chicken pairs well with the sweetness in the sweet potatoes.
  • Fried plantains. A side of plantains is perfect with this chicken.
  • Tacos. Shred the chicken and serve it in a taco with mango coleslaw.

No matter the side dish, try serving our Creamy Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce over Grilled Peruvian-Style Chicken.

Storing Leftover Grilled Chicken

Any leftover chicken needs to be refrigerated in an air tight container and used within 3 days.

This grilled chicken makes a great chicken salad or slice the chicken for wraps.

Two spatchcocked chickens on a charcoal bbq

Grilled Peruvian-Style Chicken

This chicken is so easy to make that it can even be made on a weeknight. Made with simple ingredients, the marinade can be made the night before, allowing the chicken to marinate for up to 24 hours before cooking.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Marinating time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Dinner


  • kitchen shears


  • ¼ cup Demerara sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 Tbsp Extra-Virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4-5 pounds whole chicken


  • In a large bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients.
  • Using kitchen shears, cut the spine out of the chicken.
  • Turn chicken over and press firmly down on it to flatten it.
  • Add the chicken and coat it in the marinade.
  • Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat BBQ to 425℉ using indirect heat.
  • Place chicken over coals or heat, skin side down.
  • Cook 3-5 minutes to sear the outside of the chicken.
  • Flip chicken over and place on opposite side of BBQ for indirect heat.
  • Close the lid and cook chicken, rotating after 20 minutes.
  • Cook until the chicken reaches 165℉ internally.
  • Remove from the BBQ and allow to rest covered in foil for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.


This chicken can be cooked in the oven at 375℉ for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooked to an internal temperature of 165℉.
Keyword Chicken

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.