Meet your new favorite chicken recipe. Learn the secret to perfectly cooked chicken thighs and a magical chimichurri sauce. Jump to the Chimichurri Chicken Thighs Recipe.
Chimichurri 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. 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. One of our favorite ways is this chimichurri chicken recipe.
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How to Make Chimichurri Chicken
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.
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! Once everything is chopped and minced, we pour in some red wine vinegar and olive oil.
After a good stir, we leave it for 20 minutes so all the flavors mingle. 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).
For the chicken, we prefer chicken thighs. Season them with some salt and a little oil then place them skin-side down in a cold, oven-safe pan. Turn on the burner and watch as the fat from the skin slowly renders and the skin turns golden and crispy. Then flip the chicken and slide it into the oven to finish cooking.
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Recipe updated, originally posted August 2014. Since posting this in 2014, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Chimichurri Chicken Thighs Recipe
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.
You Will NeedChimichurri 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, finely chopped
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup (80 ml) red wine vinegarChicken Thighs
2 1/4 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (5 to 6 thighs)
1 tablespoon neutral flavored oil, such as grape seed or canola
- Make Chimichurri Sauce
- Prepare Chicken
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). Let the sauce stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rub thighs with the oil and season them with salt.
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.
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.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- It is likely that you will have some chimichurri sauce leftover — the recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce. It will keep, covered in the refrigerator for a few days.