I was introduced to chimichurri years ago at an Argentinian restaurant here in Los Angeles called Lala’s and became hooked on it! The only problem is I never bothered to make it – until now…
I’ve been seeing so many food blogs posting their versions of this refreshing and delectable olive oil-based sauce and I realized there’s a reason you see so many of these offerings in the summer. Chimichurri is so zesty and bright and refreshing, it’s a perfect condiment to drizzle over your meal on a hot summer day!
And since this sauce is uncooked, it’s pretty hassle free and fun to make. Here we go!
- 10 chicken thighs or drumsticks
- 1 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, firmly packed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves (pressed or finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup vinegar (red wine or distilled white)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Finely chop parsley and cilantro (if you’re not using a food processor, in which case you can dump all the ingredients in together. *See “tips” below if you’re using a blender.)
Transfer to mixing bowl and add all other ingredients (or transfer to a mortar bowl if you’re using a pestle and mortar).
Stir vigorously with a whisk or fork, making sure all ingredients are mix and herbs are coated.
Pour half into another bowl and set aside.
Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and place across a wire rack over an oven pan (or place directly in a pan if no rack).
Brush chimichurri onto both sides of the chicken (do NOT use any leftover sauce from this bowl as it has now been contaminated with raw chicken – I’d suggest throwing it away once it’s brushed on to avoid mixing up your bowls!)
Place in oven for 45-55 minutes. (If you’re using drumsticks, flip with tongs halfway through. Chicken temp should cook to 165).
Move pan to the broiler for a nice crispy top, flipping pan 180 degrees halfway through so broil is even. (Check often – every 30 seconds or so to avoid burnt chicken.)
Use reserve chimichurri to drizzle over chicken or plate on the side so people can dip!
Why do I like the wire rack for this?
The wire rack is great because it allows air to pass underneath the food, allowing for a firmer, crisper piece all around.
Can you use a blender to make the chimichurri?
Yes you can! That’s actually what I use. Since it liquifies what ever is closest to the blade, I like to liquify about half of the blender’s contents and then spoon the leftover chopped herbs into the sauce. You can play around with how much or how little you liquify but I personally like the liquid-to-solid ration this brings!
What if you hate cilantro?
No problem! Feel free to omit is as some chimichurri recipes don’t even call for it! But if you like it, you will NOT be disappointed by throwing it in there. It’s so vibrant and delicious this way.
What do you serve as a side dish for this?
I’ve done roasted veggies and mashed cauliflower and these sides are a HIT. And they don’t have to be too seasoned since these sides are a great counterpart to this incredibly zesty chicken!
Can you use this as a marinade?
Absolutely! Pouring it into a freezer bag with the chicken and letting it sit in the fridge for a few hours will help deepen the flavor. But honestly, brushing it on before the oven works great too!
What other meat does chimichurri work on?
Steak, steak and MORE STEAK!