- Course: Main Course
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 37 Times
This simple sauce and marinade are the secret behind why grilled meats in South America taste so delicious. The basic ingredients of chimichurri are parsley, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. My version, adapted from one by barbecue maven and cookbook author Steven Raichlen, uses white balsamic vinegar. Produced by adding reduced grape juice to ordinary white wine vinegar, white balsamic has a lovely amber color and slightly sweet flavor. Chimichurri goes great with grilled steak, lamb, or pork and adds zest and flair to a last-minute dinner.
Legend has it that the word chimichurri derives from the days when British laborers were working in Argentina. When they saw bowls of the aromatic sauce, they said, “Give me curry,” which over the years became the word chimichurri.
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water or chicken broth
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons Chimichurri Sauce, above
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 whole chicken breasts, halved, boned, and flattened
1. To make the sauce: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, puree the garlic Add the parsley and process until finely chopped. Add the oil, vinegar, water or broth, and seasonings. Process to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings, It should be very flavorful and spicy.
2. In a small bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients and stir, until smooth. Put the chicken breasts in a lock-top plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Turn the chicken in the bag to coat it evenly, Close the bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
3. Prepare a barbecue grill or an oiled grill pan for medium-heat grilling. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill for 7 to 10 minutes on each side, or until no pink color is showing.
4. Place on a platter and serve with the sauce on the side.
The sauce can be made up to 5 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
The clever cook could:
1. Try this with grilled flank steak, triangle tip beef, or veal chops.
2. Try simmering the sauce for 10 minutes for a milder flavor.
3. Give the sauce your signature by adding any of the following: capers, shredded carrots, celery, red bell pepper, or anchovies.
© 2002 Diane Rossen Worthington
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings and 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.