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.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to cook chicken thighs with garlic, Yukon gold potatoes, red onion, and peppery arugula all on one pan.
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.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: We can not even begin to tell you how much we love this easy lemon chicken. It’s far from boring. Instead the chicken is juicy, flavorful and easy to make.
Chimichurri Chicken Thighs
This chimichurri chicken is simple and delicious. 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
6 medium skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon neutral flavored oil, such as grape seed or canola
- Make Chimichurri Sauce
1Finely 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.
- Prepare Chicken
1Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rub thighs with the oil and season them with salt.
2Nestle 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.
3Flip 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.
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. We assumed all of the sauce was used, but you may have some leftover. In this case, the nutrition facts will be less. You can see the nutritional information for the sauce only here.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste
This sauce is, an you said, magical. I don’t love vinegar, so I used roughly half vinegar and half fresh lemon juice. I’m so happy I decided to make this. The chicken thighs look somewhat sad and naked. The sauce completely transformed them into a winner!
This was a fabulous chimichurri recipe. I took a note from one of the other commenters to soak dried oregano in red wine vinegar for a bit and add it in; it was fabulous! I ended up throwing everything into a blender, amping up the garlic, and used a heaping tablespoon of oregano. I also doubled the recipe and used the leftover chimichurri for a dipping sauce the rest of the week. I smelled like garlic for a while but it was worth it! I had less luck with the chicken (it got stuck to the pan) but it still tasted fabulous.
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!
How do you suggest we make the pan cold before cooking?
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.
Do you recommend covering skillet w/ a lid at all while cooking the chicken?
Hi Joyce, For thighs we usually don’t use a lid — we just slide the pan into the oven to finish cooking the chicken.
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.
Yumm!These look amazing I love the idea of using chicken thighs. Can’t wait to try!
Thanks! We buy chicken thighs way more often than chicken breasts — they are a little cheaper and taste better 🙂
How do you recommend cooking the chicken thoughts if they are skinless?
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.
just retired – love food – looking for inspiration & your recipes look just right !