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.
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
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 14-15 minutes
- 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)
- 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.
- Add lemon juice and olive oil and mix well.
- 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.
- 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.
- After 20 minutes of marinating, grill the chicken on medium-high heat, skin side down first for about 7 minutes, not moving it around.
- Flip the chicken and cook for 7 more minutes.
- Set aside to rest for about 5-10 minutes, adding an initial topping chimichurri.
- Serve on a plate with some chimichurri on the side for dipping.