Chimichurri chicken

We are often asked to recommend sauces for grilled or barbecue chicken.  A marinade is a great way to keep chicken juicy and moist, yet ensure it is fully cooked.  The first thing to do is make sure you are using good quality chicken.  At Drumanilra we source organic chicken for our Online Farm Shop from Margaret McDonnell in Kildare. Our trick to achieve deliciously moist chicken every time is to marinade the chicken pieces for at least 20 minutes before cooking, sear on a hot grill or hottest part of the barbecue, then cook slowly over a lower heat until juices run clear.

Chimichurri is one of our favourite sauces to use when grilling or barbecuing chicken.  This sauce originates in Argentina and Uruguay and is popular throughout South America.  Similar to pesto, but it is based on parsley and oregano rather than basil.  It can be used as a marinade and also as a condiment to accompany any cooked meat.Jar of Chimichurri Sauce on wooden board

INGREDIENTS

Chimichurri:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
  • 2 small red chilies or 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon finely chopped chili)
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 – 1 level teaspoon coarse salt (adjust to your tastes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (adjust to your tastes)

Chicken:

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • Salt to season

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to release all of the flavours into the oil before using. (Chimichurri can be prepared and refrigerated for 24 hours before serving.) Makes 1 cup.
  • Season chicken with salt, pour 4 tablespoons of Chimichurri out into a shallow dish and coat chicken. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes (if time allows). Reserve untouched marinade to serve later.
  • Heat a small amount of oil in a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken fillets on each side until golden, crispy and cooked through (about 5-6 minutes each side). Once chicken is cooked, set aside and allow to rest.
  • Spoon remaining chimichurri over each chicken thigh (about 2-3 tablespoons of chimichurri per person), or allow your guests to dip their chicken in a small dip bowl of chimichurri.