We recently shared a recipe for Steak Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce, where we raved about homemade chimichurri. It’s easy to make, uses up leftover herbs, is super delicious, and goes great with many different foods. That’s why it made our 5 essential sauces infographic, alongside marinara sauce and nuoc nam.
This week, we’re bringing back this chimichurri sauce, not only to show you a different way that you can enjoy it, but mostly because, when we asked if you would rather eat this or a weeknight chicken stir-fry on our Facebook page, this one won! It was a really close race, though, with this recipe coming out one point ahead, and we promise you, you won’t be disappointed!
“I love Cook Smarts because of meals like this. If planning our own meals, we would never incorporate turnips and cauliflower. Cook Smarts encourages us to get out of our comfort zone and love it! The chimichurri is amazing, I want to put it on everything. We liked every part of this meal.”
The chimichurri in this recipe is used on the roasted chicken, as well as the roasted veggies, tying both components of the dish together. It adds a fresh, tangy flavor that brightens up the whole meal. It’s amazing what a simple sauce could do. You could have plain roasted meat and veggies, or you could have a total jazzed up meat and veggies dish. Your choice!
We choose the jazzed up version, of course. But to make it even more special, we toss the finished chicken in crispy panko crumbs for a delicious crunch. Cook Smarts member Liane does a better job at describing this dish, though: (After reading what she says, we’ll be surprised if you aren’t already heading to the store to pick up ingredients to make this for dinner tonight!)
“Chicken turned out amazing! Flavor from the chimichurri and crunch of the Panko was so delicious and I love that it was a baked chicken but tasted like a decadent comfort food like a deep fried chicken! Caramelized cauliflower and turnips were fantastic too. This is my new favorite way to eat them! It all went so well together. It was a hit with the whole family. Hubby couldn’t get enough!”
For More Smarts:
Save time by making the chimichurri sauce ahead of time. It can be made 5 days ahead, but it also freezes well. Freeze in an ice cube tray and defrost cubes whenever you want to add some fresh, delicious flavor to any dish.
The oven will be doing most of the work for you, so all you need to do is prep the chicken and veggies first. Here’s how:
Roasting meat and veggies together means lots of flavor! You want to make sure they all fit and cook evenly, so using a sheet pan is the best bet.
- Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower & Turnips:
- Chicken thighs, with skin & bone-in – 4 (or sub two boneless, skinless breasts for a lower-fat alternative)
- Cauliflower – 1 head, chopped
- Turnips – 1, chopped (~3/4 lb)
- Cooking oil – 1 tbsp + 3 tbsp
- Panko – 1/4 cup
- Lemon – 1/2, juice of
- Salt and pepper – to taste
- Chimichurri Sauce:
- Cilantro – 1/2 bunch, bottom stems chopped off (feel free to mix in some parsley too)
- Garlic – 1 clove
- Shallots (small) – 1/2 bulb
- Capers – 1 tbsp
- Red wine vinegar – 1 1/2 tsp
- Lime – 1/2, juice of
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Cooking oil – 1/3 cup (add more as needed)
- Chicken – Season with salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Cauliflower / Turnips – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Heat oven to 500F(or 260C) degrees. Adjust racks, so one is in the middle and one is on the top.
- Spread cauliflower and turnips out onto a sheet pan and cover tightly with foil. Start by steaming vegetables for 8 minutes on the top rack.
- While vegetables are steaming, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add first part of cooking oil and sear chicken on both sides for 3 minutes each. Remove from heat.
- Take veggies out of the oven and turn oven down to 450F(or 232C) degrees. Remove foil and divide veggies between two sheet pans. You want to make sure they’re not crowded so they roast and caramelize correctly. Toss veggies with second part of cooking oil.
- Place chicken on one of the sheet pans (you can place them right on veggies). Roast for another 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken reaches 165F(or 74C) degrees.
- While veggies are roasting, make chimichurri sauce. In a blender or a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, shallot, capers, red wine vinegar, lime juice, salt, and oil. Add more oil if it’s too thick. Season to taste with salt or more lime juice. (This can also be done up to 5 days ahead)
- When chicken and veggies are done, remove chicken and toss with panko and half of chimichurri. Finish with lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Enjoy chicken with remainder of the chimichurri and veggies on the side.