Minute Chicken with Green Olive Chimmichurri
Chimmichurri is a super delicious Argentinian sauce of parsley and oregano normally served with steak.
Recently I was craving chimmichurri but the pesky possums had eaten my oregano. I did have green olives though. So I made the connection. The first time we had it with steak and was thoroughly happy with the results. However it’s just as good, if not better with the milder flavour of chicken.
Bashing out the chicken like this to make it ‘minute’ chicken only takes a few extra minutes on the prep front, but saves a good 5 minutes on the cooking time. And it tenderizes and makes it much easier to tell when it’s done. Definitely worth it!
There are 7 ingredients listed here but one is olive oil which I don’t count in my 6-ingredient limit 😉
enough for: 2
takes 30 minutes
200g (7oz) green olives, pitted
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoon lemon juice
4 chicken thigh fillets
2 large handfuls green beans or green salad, to serve
1. For the chimmichurri, place the olives, parsley, oil, garlic, lemon juice and 5 tablespoons water in a small bowl or jug. Using your stick blender puree to a chunky paste. OR puree in your food processor or regular blender. Taste and season with salt if needed (you might not depending on how salty your olives are). Set aside. If using beans, trim to remove stalks but leave the tails intact.
2. Cut chicken thighs into 2-3 pieces then using your fist, a meat mallet, small saucepan or potato ricer (as I do) bash the chicken until each piece is about 1cm (less than 1/2 inch) thick. Rub chicken with oil and season with salt.
3. Heat a frying pan or BBQ on a high heat. When the pan / BBQ is hot add chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until well browned and no longer pink in the middle. Divide between two plates.
4. If using beans, return pan to the heat and add beans with a splash of water. Cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes, stirring every minute or so until the beans are bright green and no longer super crunchy.
5. Divide cooked beans or the salad leaves between plates and drizzle over chimmichurri.
WINE MATCH: A nice oaky chardonnay.
Variations & Substitutions
different protein – chimmichurri is a classic with steak but also lovely with a pork chop or sausages. Chicken breasts can also be used but tend to be much drier and less flavoursome than thigh fillets.
vegetarian – replace chicken with fried eggs, halloumi, tempeh, eggplant or cooked chickpeas. The chimmichurri would also be excellent with avocado on toast.
vegan – replace chicken with cooked chickpeas, avocado and/or roast almonds or hazelnuts.
more substantial (carb lovers) – serve with steamed potatoes, crusty bread or pasta.
more substantial (low carb) – serve with extra low carb veg, roasted almonds or hazelnuts or chunks of avocado. And consider an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Low FODMAP – skip the garlic or use garlic oil instead of the extra virgin olive oil.
different olives – black olives can be used but the sauce will look more like a tapenade.
different veg – asparagus in Spring time! or steamed broccoli, snow peas, sugar snap peas, spinach or roast veggies are all good options.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
green olives – will keep in the fridge for months.
parsley – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen or make a parsley oil by packing the leaves into a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil.
extra virgin olive oil – keep it in the pantry.
garlic -keep in a dark pantry for weeks if not months. I keep mine in a brown paper bag to avoid sprouting.
lemons – will keep for a few weeks at room temp or for much longer in the fridge.
chicken thigh fillets – freeze them.
green beans – can be frozen but best to use for another meal.
salad leaves – are highly perishable. My first path would be to use them for another meal (salad for breakfast!) but if that isn’t possible you can pop them in the freezer. They will wilt down but can then be used anywhere you’d use wilted greens. At least this way they won’t go slimy.
I prefer my chicken freshly cooked, however you could make the sauce ahead. Will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks but is nicest after the first day or so! Leftover chicken will keep in the fridge for up to a week or can be frozen.