Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce 
Chimichurri Sauce may not be a sauce you are familiar with. Its a lovely lush and spicy sauce which hails from Argentina.   

Its deliciously created from fresh herbs, vinegar, seasonings, red pepper flakes and plenty of garlic, and there is not much it doesn't go with!

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce

Today I created Chimichurri chicken breast, but it goes with all sorts of grilled meats.  Steak is a real favorite with me as well! 

I adapted this recipe from one found in the cookbook entitled Seriously Simple, by Diane Rossen Worthington.  Its a great book filled with lovely seriously simple recipes.  I really enjoy my copy.

 
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce 
Most require nothing more than simple ingredients, cooking methods and cooking equipment.  Simple flavors and foods done really well in a very simple way.

It doesn't get much better than that in my opinion! 
 

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce  
Of course the star of this is the chimichurri recipe.  Such a simple sauce, but the flavors are just wowza! I am sure once you have made it and tasted it, you will be able to think of all sorts of applications for it.

It is not only great as a sauce, but makes an excellent marinade as this recipe today expertly illustrates!

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce 
You do need to be fond of garlic however and a little bit of sauce goes a very long way as it is rather spicy. Because the garlic isn't cooked it has a bit of a bite! But trust me when I say it totally works just as is! 

Diane says that the sauce got its name from the legend that British laborers working in Argentina saw bowls of this sauce and would say, "Give me curry," which over the years evolved into (as things do) "Chimichurri!"  Makes sense to me!

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce 
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE CHIMICHURRI SAUCE

First of all, the most important ingredient here is the food processor. You could use a mortar and pestle as well if you have one, but you can't beat a food processor for its ease of preparation! 

  • garlic cloves, peeled
  • flat leaf parsley
  • olive oil
  • white wine vinegar
  • water or chicken broth
  • dried oregano
  • dried parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes (crushed chilies)
You also need something to grill, in today's case, skin on boneless chicken breasts. I do my own.  When whole chickens are on offer, I buy a couple and then cut them up, freezing the various parts separately.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce 
HOW TO MAKE CHIMICHURRI SAUCE

Nothing could be easier, especially with a food processor. 

You will need to puree the garlic first.  Simply peel it and pop it into the food processor.  You then pulse it until it is very fine or as fine as you can get it.  You then add the parsley leaves and pulse until they are finely chopped.

The original recipe called for a whole bunch of flat leaf parsley, just the leaves. I used approximately 1/2 a bunch, and yes, stripped the leaves from the stems. It doesn't really take that long.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce 
Once you have the garlic and parsley minced, it is a simple matter of whisking in the remaining ingredients. You can also give them a quick whisk in by pulsing them in a few times in the food processor.

That's it your marinade and sauce is done!  Do taste it to make sure you have enough seasoning. 

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce 
HOW TO CUT UP A WHOLE CHICKEN

Cutting up your own chicken is a lot cheaper than buying store cut chicken and its really easy to do if you have a sharp boning knife and a set of kitchen scissors. 

 1. Lay the bird on its back. Wiggle a wing to determine where the joint attaches to the breast. To separate the wing from the breast, use a sharp knife to cut through the ball joint where it meets the breast. Repeat with the other wing. 

 2.Pull a leg away from the body to see where it attaches. To remove the whole leg, first cut through the skin between the thigh and the breast. 

 3. Continue to pull on the leg and wiggle it a bit to determine where the thigh meets the socket in the back. Use a boning knife or paring knife to cut through that joint. Repeat with the other leg. 

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce 

4. Place each leg skin-side down. With your hand and knife, bend the leg to feel for the ball joint. That's where the drumstick and thigh are connected. Then, look for the thin line of fat that runs along the ball joint. Cut through the line of fat to separate the thigh and drumstick. Wiggle the joint as needed so it's easy to cut. Repeat with the other leg. I often just keep the thigh and drumstick together as a chicken quarter joint. Its up to you.

5. To remove the backbone, start at the head end of the bird and cut through the rib cage on one side of the backbone with kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Repeat on the other side of the backbone to remove it completely. (I like to reserve the backbone and neck for chicken stock.) 



Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce 

6.Now cut the breast into two halves. Place the breast skin-side down. To protect your hand, fold a kitchen towel and place it on top of a heavy, sharp knife. Use your weight to cut through the breast bone and cartilage down the center of the breast. 

7. Now that you have two breast halves, if you think they are overly large, you can cut each breast half in half again, crosswise. The wishbone is located at the thick part of the breast. If you want, you can tease the meat away from the two pieces of wishbone using your hands and/or a sharp knife to scrape the meat from the bone.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce 
The first time you cut up your own chicken it can be a bit intimidating, but once you have done it you will see how easy it is and each time you do it, it becomes that much easier.

It just makes sense to cut up your own when chicken is so expensive to buy already cut up.  Why not line your own pockets with the cash rather than the grocery shop's!

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce

I marinated and  grilled skin on chicken breasts for this and I did push a bit of the marinade in between the skin and the breast as well when I was marinating them. This really got the flavors right in there.

You can use the chimichurri sauce on any cut of chicken however, so don't limit yourself. If you prefer thighs, then use them! I would do them boneless as well. I do like to keep the skin on when grilling as it helps to keep the chicken from drying out too much.

In any case I hope you will try this simple and delicious recipe.  I would serve these with some lovely boiled and crushed potatoes and a vegetable on the side, or even rice.  Something that will absorb all of those tasty juices! 😋

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce

Yield: 2
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 20 Mininactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 1 Hour
A wonderfully herby garlic sauce serves as both marinade and condiment to these delicious grilled chicken breasts. Amounts are for two, but can be doubled or tripled. You will need a food processor to make the sauce.

Ingredients

For the sauce and marinade:
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • a large handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
  • 2 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 2 TBS water or chicken broth
  • 1/3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/3 tsp dried basil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and black pepper to taste
For the chicken:
  • Two skin on boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 TBS of the chimichurri sauce
  • 1 TBS olive oil

Instructions

  1. First make the chimichurri sauce. You will need a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the garlic cloves and puree. Add the parsley and chop finely. Add the oil, vinegar, water or broth and seasonings.  Process to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. It will be garlicky and spicy.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 TBS of the sauce with the olive oil in a bowl.  Add the chicken breast to the bowl, turning to coat them.  Marinate for half an hour at room temperature. (Alternately they can marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.) 
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill, a grill pan, or an electric grill for medium heat grilling.   
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place onto the grill, presentation side down (skin side). Grill for 7 to 10 minutes.  Flip over and grill for a further 7 to 10 minutes, until the chicken juices run clear.  Timings depend on the size and thickness of your chicken breasts.
  5. Serve the breasts hot with the sauce on the side, ready for drizzling over them.

Notes:

This very versatile sauce goes with grilled steaks, lamb, pork or fish. It will keep for a few days, covered, in the refrigerator, but the parsley will not be as brightly coloured.

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Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimichurri Sauce
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1 comment

  1. I love this sauce. As well as spooning it over grilled chicken, fish or steak, I also make a lovely roasted root vegetable salad (the usual suspects - cubed sweet potato, butternut pumpkin, carrot, potato, red onion) then stir in some baby spinach and rocket and add the chimichurri sauce. Yum, yum, yum! It's such a versatile sauce and very handy to know.

    Now off to investigate that cookbook - I've just downloaded it to take a peek :)

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