Posted: December 2, 2022 in Uncategorized

I recently discovered a new version of chimichurri, one where I use basil instead of parsley, and I don’t know if I’ll go back to the old chimi ever again!

Chimichurri is a garlicky, herby green sauce usually used with grilled meats. This pesto-like condiment originated in Argentina and is also commonly used in Nicaragua and Uruguay. Though some recipes include cilantro, many people insist the original is made only with parsley. I decided to substitute basil for the parsley.

I’ve used this new “chimi” on salads, I’ve cooked shishito peppers with it, and recently, I had great success roasting chicken with it. To make the chimi…



1 large handful of fresh basil leaves, about 4 cups, loosely packed
1/4 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3–4 tablespoons fresh oregano, leaves only (or 1 tablespoon dry)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon crushed bay leaf
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all the basil and the water in a food processor and begin to chop, pulsing for a second at a time. When the basil is in small pieces, stop pulsing and add the remaining ingredients, except the vinegar and olive oil. Start the processor on a full run now, and slowly pour in the vinegar, then the olive oil. Try not to make it too smooth…leave some tasty bits. Allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes, but overnight in a sealed container in the fridge is best.



I had a 4-pack of chicken thighs and a 4-pack of drumsticks in my freezer, so that’s what I used for this dish. But it’s just as easy to use a spatchcocked (a butterflied chicken where the backbone is removed so it lays flat) whole chicken, or any parts you prefer.


8 pieces of chicken
a bunch of tomatoes, cut into small chunks
3 to 4 oz. of feta cheese


Pre-heat the oven to 350.



Place the thawed chicken pieces in a baking pan, and rub them really well with a generous amount of the chimi. Get it under the skin where you can, not just the outside. (Just remember that you’re handling raw chicken, so the moment you touch the chimi with raw chicken hands, you’ve contaminated the batch! Use a separate bowl with part of the chimi, so you don’t ruin the rest.)

Let the chicken marinate in the chimi at room temp for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight.



Grab a bunch of tomatoes, cut them up, removing some of the seeds (but not really worrying about it either way) and mix a little chimi in the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes on the bottom of the roasting pan, and place the chicken pieces on top, so the chicken skin will crisp up while it cooks.



Sprinkle the cubes of feta cheese all around and place the roasting pan in the oven, baking for about 45 minutes.



Serve over pasta, potatoes, or as I did, over rice. I simply boiled some jasmine rice, adding a 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning in the rice water before cooking. No salt, no oil.







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