Chimichurri Chicken Thighs Recipe

Chimichurri Chicken ThighsChimichurri is a magical sauce.  It’s a zesty and green sauce made with fresh herbs, garlic, vinegar, chili pepper and olive oil that livens up pretty much anything you throw at it. It’s as versatile as your favorite white t-shirt.

Steak, shrimp, fish, vegetables and chicken all love it — especially if they’re grilled or roasted. It even passes tossed with pasta or spooned over tomato slices. You can use it 100 different ways.

This all made sharing this recipe with you difficult. How could we highlight the sauce enough to show you just how much we adore it?

We talked about sharing some kind of steak, like this Chimichurri Recipe over Steak from Food Network or possibly shrimp like this Chimichurri Shrimp with Lime Rice.

Then we landed on an idea — Share it spooned over what we happily make each and every week – chicken thighs.

Imagine this: perfectly cooked chicken thighs with golden brown and crispy skin served with a generous spoonful of tangy green goodness. This one should be added to your dinner rotation. It’s that good.

Our Favorite Chimichurri Recipe

Some versions of chimichurri sauce call for pureeing it in a blender or food processor. You could certainly do that, but we like our sauce on the chunky side so we chop everything by hand. Not to mention doing it by hand is sensory overload — it smells amazing!

The Parsley for Chimichurri Recipe

Once everything is chopped and minced, we pour in some red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Making Chimichurri Chicken Thighs

After a good stir, we leave it for 20 minutes so all the flavors mingle.

Chimichurri Chicken Thighs

The sauce is excellent the day you make it, but it will last a few days in your refrigerator (you just might notice the parsley’s green dulls slightly).

Our Secret to Perfectly Cooked Chicken Thighs

We cook chicken thighs often. We actually prefer them over chicken breast — they’re a little cheaper and have more flavor.

The real secret to chicken thighs is a cold pan.

We season the chicken with some salt and a little oil then place them skin-side down in a cold, oven-safe pan. Then, we turn on the burner and watch as the fat from the skin slowly renders and the skin turns golden and crispy.

Chimichurri Chicken Thighs

Then we flip the chicken and slide it into the oven to finish cooking.

Chimichurri Chicken Thighs

I hope we’ve inspired you to make your own batch of chimichurri and highly recommend throwing it on top of some perfectly cooked chicken thighs. Enjoy!

You May Also Like our Easy Lemon Chicken Recipe, Butterflied Rosemary Roasted Chicken Recipe or our Lemony Chicken Breast Recipe with Cucumber Feta Salad. You can also take a look through all of our chicken recipes, here.

Chimichurri Chicken Thighs Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Chimichurri sauce is a zesty and green sauce made with fresh herbs, garlic, vinegar, chili pepper and olive oil that livens up pretty much anything you throw at it -- these chicken thighs are no exception.

We like our sauce on the tangy, vinegary side. If you prefer things to be a bit more tame, reduce the amount of vinegar to 3 or 4 tablespoons.

It is likely that you will have some chimichurri sauce leftover -- the recipe below makes about 1 cup of sauce. It will keep, covered in the refrigerator for a few days. When you use it next, it tastes best if you bring it to room temperature first.
Yield: Makes 3 to 4 servings as a main course
You Will Need
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
  • 2 cups (50 grams) packed parsley leaves and tender stems
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely minced (1 tablespoon minced)
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1 jalapeño or fresno chili pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) red wine vinegar
For the Chicken:
  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2-1/4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral flavored oil (such as vegetable oil, canola or grape seed oil)
  • Kosher salt
Directions
  1. Make Chimichurri Sauce: Finely chop the parsley then add to a bowl with the garlic, shallot, salt, red pepper flakes (or chopped chile pepper), olive oil and the red wine vinegar. Stir. (Or, puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender).
  2. Let the sauce stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
  3. Prepare the Chicken Thighs: Heat the oven to 400º F. Rub chicken thighs with the oil and season them with salt.
  4. Nestle the chicken thighs skin-side down into a cold, large oven-safe skillet. Heat the pan over medium heat and cook undisturbed until most of the fat renders and skin is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Flip the chicken. Transfer skillet to the oven and cook 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 175º F. Transfer to a plate and let rest 5 minutes before serving with chimichurri sauce spooned on top.
Notes and Tips
We use kosher salt. If you don’t have it on hand, keep this in mind: 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = about 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt.

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11 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Eric September 2, 2016, 8:46 pm

    Excellent recipe! finishing the cooking in the oven is a time honored technique, at it cooks in the juices, preventing the meat from drying.
    I lived 6 years in Argentina, traveling a lot and to ALL provincias, and I discovered that a sauce called Chimichurri is prepared everywhere, but there are a few, sometimes a lot of, differences between each state (Provincias). For a quick example, in Provincia de Bs.As., they use some dried oregano and a local dried ground pepper, called AJì Molido, which has great taste, but NO heat… and in Patagonia they use a mixture of a lot of lightly salted water with a few crushed cloves of garlic and some crushed hot chili peppers, and they continually drizzle it on the sheep carcasses they roast whole on the side of a bed of coals… and they also call it Chimichurri!
    So try 1/2 a spoonful of dried oregano leaves steeped in 1 spoonful of Wine vinegar and 2 of water for at least 1/2 hour in a cup or similar small container, but remove all twigs and stems which remain.
    ¡Y Buen Provecho!

    Reply
  • Gianina August 14, 2015, 1:21 pm

    How do you suggest we make the pan cold before cooking?

    Reply
    • Joanne August 14, 2015, 3:40 pm

      Hi Gianina, By a cold pan, we just mean there is no need to preheat the pan or place it on the burner to heat up before adding the chicken.

      Reply
  • Joyce L. March 19, 2015, 2:06 am

    Hi!
    Do you recommend covering skillet w/ a lid at all while cooking the chicken?

    Reply
    • Joanne March 19, 2015, 12:55 pm

      Hi Joyce, For thighs we usually don’t use a lid — we just slide the pan into the oven to finish cooking the chicken.

      Reply
  • laurie November 17, 2014, 6:23 pm

    I love chimmichurri! I like to use cilantro instead of parsley. I like your method of cooking the chicken thighs tho and will try this soon.

    Reply
  • Kelley @ Chef Savvy October 27, 2014, 7:39 pm

    Yumm!These look amazing I love the idea of using chicken thighs. Can’t wait to try!

    Reply
    • Joanne October 28, 2014, 11:58 am

      Thanks! We buy chicken thighs way more often than chicken breasts — they are a little cheaper and taste better 🙂

      Reply
  • Lina October 9, 2014, 3:59 pm

    How do you recommend cooking the chicken thoughts if they are skinless?

    Reply
    • Joanne October 23, 2014, 11:50 am

      Hi Lina, you could cook them over medium heat in a little olive oil until lightly browned on both sides then finish them in the oven. You could also toss them with a little chimichurri sauce and bake them in the oven (around 400 degrees) until done.

      Reply
  • susan hicks August 21, 2014, 10:51 am

    just retired – love food – looking for inspiration & your recipes look just right !

    Reply

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