Monday, October 15, 2007

Cilantro-Jerk Chimichurri

Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce of garlic and herbs used as both a marinade and sauce for grilled meats. When I lived in Houston, I came to appreciate the delicious chimichurri served at Chef Michael Cordua's excellent Churrasco's and Americas restaurants.

After moving to California and missing Churrasco's badly, I tried my hand at concocting my own special blend of chimichurri with lots of garlic, cilantro, parsley, olive oil, and (oddly enough) rice wine vinegar. Since then, the chimichurri has been brushed over beef and chicken skewers, grilled, and consumed by many of my friends.

Last night, I had a dream (yes) about melding the chimichurri ingredients with jerk spices (decidely not Argentinian). I'm not sure whether the dream was inspired by late night hunger, or by the package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs that was sitting in the fridge.

This marinade turned out great, but I'll use more cilantro next time.

Cilantro-Jerk Chimichurri Marinade
(for 1 lb of meat or seafood)

2 Tbsp jerk seasoning
1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 c cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
kosher salt

1) Place the jerk, ancho, garlic, cilantro, and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt in a mortar. 2) Using a pestle, smash the garlic, cilantro, and spices into a paste.
3) Add the oil and vinegar, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Taste and add additional salt, if desired.

Quick-marinated Cilantro-Jerk Chimichurri Chicken
i lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 recipe chimichurri-jerk marinade

1) Trim any fat from chicken thighs.
2) In a large bowl, toss the chicken thighs with the chimichurri.
3) Transfer to a vacuum sealer bag and vacuum seal.
4) Let the chicken marinate for 20 minutes.
5) Grill chicken until cooked through and juices run clear. (I like to sear both sides on a screaming hot grill, then grill on low-med heat for 2 minutes per side.

0 red beans:

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