Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri

For today I’m sharing a recipe to you that is inspired by a dish with Argentinian roots. I didn’t plan to make this dish but we had so much parsley at home for some reason, and I wanted to finish it all before it goes bad. So I remembered a South American sauce that uses a lot of parsley: Chimichurri! I knew it meant having to whip out the grill (I only used a big flat grill plan, because the grill that uses charcoal is a bit broken), but I was excited to try it.

I’m more of a fried chicken girl, to be honest. I think for the past months in the quarantine, I’ve done many variations of fried chicken (with or without glaze): Dakgangjeong/Korean Fried Chicken, General’s Chicken, Plain Fried Chicken, Chicken Karaage, name it, I’ve probably done it, or will do it! I love fried chicken! But in an attempt to conserve our oil from all the deep frying (yes, I’ve had complaints HAHA!), and to help our family eat better, I thought maybe we can make other dishes as well, even if dad always asks for some variation of fried chicken from me.

The process starts with marinating the chicken in a spicy paste—others would marinate their chicken in the chimichurri, but I wanted to do things differently. I ground and mixed all of the spices, along with some garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper using a mortar and pestle.

Batch 1: harder to make a paste because I didn’t crush the garlic and dry ingredients first. For batch 2, I crushed the garlic first before adding any wet ingredients.

Then I added this to about half a kilogram of chicken thigh fillets and marinated it for about 20 minutes.

After that, I added all my parsley (about a cup and a half), some more garlic, one small red onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a food processor and pulsed it til fine, but still with a bit of crunch. Chimichurri done!

The Yellow-orange Food Processor

You might be asking about why my mini food processor has turned yellow-orange—it’s because my mom used to make a lot of turmeric pastes, and the color stayed. We’ve tried a lot of methods to clean it but to no avail! Any suggestions?

Anyway, after 20 minutes, I heated the grill and placed the chicken skin side down on medium heat. Each side was grilled for about 7 minutes, without touching the chicken, so that the skin will char a bit.


Then, I added a bit of chimichurri on top and served more of this lovely sauce on the side. Results? Everything served that day was demolished! Hahaha. I guess we now have a rival to fried chicken. I’m sharing the recipe below for reference, I hope you try and enjoy it!

Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri

Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 14-15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500-600 grams of chicken thigh fillet
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic (honestly, I think I put about 7 cloves)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 2-3 birds eye chilis (this depends on how spicy you want your dish to be)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

For the Chimichurri:

  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 ½ cups of fresh parsley (flat-leaf or otherwise)
  • ¼ teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • Half a cup of olive oil
  • Sea salt (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. To make the paste for the chicken, crush some garlic using a mortar and pestle. Add in the paprika, oregano and chili, salt, and lemon zest and crush until it is well incorporated.
  2. Add lemon juice and olive oil and mix well.
  3. Put the mixture in a bowl with the chicken fillets and mix, making sure that the chicken is well coated with the marinade. Marinate for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender (can be a small one, as long as it can chop/mince well), add in all the ingredients for the chimichurri. Pulse until it is finely chopped and set aside.
  5. After 20 minutes of marinating, grill the chicken on medium-high heat, skin side down first for about 7 minutes, not moving it around.
  6. Flip the chicken and cook for 7 more minutes.
  7. Set aside to rest for about 5-10 minutes, adding an initial topping chimichurri.
  8. Serve on a plate with some chimichurri on the side for dipping.

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