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Chimichurri sauce adds assertive spark to roasted chicken

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Chimichurri is a delicious sauce of fresh herbs, oil and vinegar that is served as a condiment with grilled meats in Argentina. Here it serves as both a marinade and a dipping sauce.

While chimichurri isn't spicy, it nevertheless is assertive thanks to a blend of cilantro, parsley, garlic and vinegar.

This recipe calls for broiling the chicken, but the meat could just as easily be skewered and grilled. If you use bamboo skewers (on the grill or under the broiler), be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes first to prevent burning.

Chimichurri Chicken

Chimichurri Sauce

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) packed fresh parsley

50 ml ( 1/4 cup) packed fresh cilantro

250 ml (1 cup) olive oil

50 ml ( 1/4 cup) red wine vinegar

30 ml (2 tbsp) dried oregano

22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) cumin

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) salt

3 cloves garlic

3 ml (3/4 tsp) red pepper flakes

Chicken and Vegetables

750 g (1 1/2 lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

500 g (1 lb) new potatoes, quartered

500 g (1 lb) asparagus, ends trimmed

30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

2 ml ( 1/2 tsp) ground black pepper

5 ml (1 tsp) dried oregano

5 ml (1 tsp) cumin

In a food processor or blender, combine parsley, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, cumin, salt, garlic and pepper flakes. Puree for 2 to 3 minutes or until very smooth.

Pour half of the chimichurri sauce into a 20-cm (8-inch) square baking dish. Pour remaining sauce into a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Carefully slice each breast into long, thin slices about 1 cm ( 1/2 inch) thick. Place chicken slices in baking dish and turn to coat with chimichurri. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 200 C (400 F). Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes and asparagus. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and cumin. Drizzle over vegetables, then toss to coat.

Arrange potatoes and asparagus in an even layer on baking sheet, then place on oven's upper rack. Roast for 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set oven to broil.

Arrange chicken in a single layer on second baking sheet. Discard any excess marinade. Place on oven's centre rack and broil for 5 minutes, then turn chicken and broil for another 5 minutes.

Serve chicken and vegetables with reserved chimichurri sauce for dipping.

Makes 4 servings.

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