Roast Chicken Chimichurri

I’ve never been to Argentina but I know all about chimichurri, their garlicky, piquant, chilli-hot, herb vinaigrette used as marinade and relish with barbecued meat. It pops up a lot in Francis Mallmann’s books and I’ve now adopted his way of making it with fresh oregano (dried is fine, possibly better than fresh marjoram, a less piquant variation on oregano) and flat leaf parsley. I smeared it over simply roasted chicken legs and it was a feast for all the senses and a simple way to jazz up a mid-week chicken supper. Good with salad and baked potatoes (halved, oiled, lattice-cut) cooked alongside the chicken. My picture is of this years pot of oregano which, I’m happy to say, is spreading deliciously well.

Serves 4

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 45 min

4 chicken legs

6 tbsp olive oil

Maldon sea salt

6 large garlic cloves

50g bunch flat leaf parsley

30g bunch oregano

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp boiling water

1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

     Heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Smear the chicken with 1 tbsp olive oil. Arrange on a small roasting tin and season generously with salt. Roast (or bbq at white ash stage) for 40 minutes or until cooked through, the skin very crisp. Transfer to a platter or plates and cover with chimichurri. Rest for 5 minutes before serving. To make the chimichurri, crack the garlic with your fist then finely chop. Pick the leaves from the parsley and chop. Finely chop the oregano. Pile all three together and chop a few times to mix. Dissolve the salt in 2 tbsp boiling water. Pile herbs, garlic, salt solution, chilli and vinegar in a bowl. Add remaining olive oil and mix thoroughly.