If you thought Peruvian chicken was good because it’s closely related to Huli-huli chicken, then we have some bad news for you. (And if you don’t know about Huli-huli chicken, haole, then you need to learn.) Recent DNA testing of ancient and modern South American chickens shows no evidence of a direct relation to modern chickens found on Polynesian islands.
The tests were to help determine whether Polynesian explorers reached South America before Europeans, bringing with them the Original Recipe. This idea developed from finding chicken bones dating back to the 1300s in Chile, before Columbus and the conquistadors.
However, this doesn’t outright disprove the theory that Polynesians didn’t get to South America. After all, we still can’t explain how sweet potatoes — a South American plant — spread across the islands before Captain Cook arrived in the 18th Century. If Polynesians brought their chickens to South America, it could be that they didn’t last long. Especially if they were up against the Spanish Inquisition, something they’d never expect.