Grilled Citrus Chicken with Spicy Basil Chimichurri is the perfect flavorful late summer way to change up your grilling routine! It’s Progressive Eats time and our theme this month is Late Summer Latin American Cuisine!
With fall fast approaching, we’re trying to make the most of all of our garden goodness–especially our basil. Sure would be wonderful if basil could be hardy like rosemary and make it through our southern winter. In no time, we’ll be paying $2.99 for a measly sprig. Kills me!
We normally make pesto–lots and lots of pesto–but we still have some in our freezer from last year. Because of that, I’m super excited to share my latest and most favorite way to use and preserve all that summer basil. This Spicy Basil Chimichurri!
What is chimichurri?
Classic chimichurri, the vinegary, garlicky, herbaceous Argentinian condiment is generally made from parsley or parsley and cilantro. Oregano is often included and it’s served with grilled and barbecued meats. I think it’s also great with pork, fish, chicken and even vegetables. I recently pushed the envelope and made a Purslane Chimichurri for my Waste Not feature.
Spicy Basil Chimichurri is super easy to make and could possibly kick pesto to the curb as my way to preserve the summer bounty of basil! It’s perfect with this Grilled Citrus Chicken for a Latin American-inspired light, healthy and super-flavorful way to close out your summer!
How to make Grilled Citrus Chicken with Spicy Basil Chimichurri:
- First, mix up the marinade. Combine fresh orange juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, oregano, vinegar, Worcestershire and some ground chipotle for a little kick!
- Pour the marinade into a zipper-top bag along with boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Chicken Freezer and Meal Prep Tips:
- Buy chicken breasts in bulk on sale.
- Trim them up so they’re ready to cook when you need them.
- Place two chicken breasts halves in the bag so they lie flat and side-by-side in 1-quart freezer zipper-top bags.
- Date, seal tightly then place in the freezer. We like to combine three to four 1-quart bags in a gallon-size bag just to keep like dates together.
- When you need chicken for a recipe, take out just what you need. Because you packaged the chicken with only two breasts per bag, they’ll thaw faster than a large package would and you can add the marinade directly to the bag!
- I like to use zipper-top bags to marinate chicken (and most proteins) because the marinade envelopes the protein more fully and you can just toss the bag and all when you’re done.
- Be sure to place the bag on a plate or in a bowl just in case the bag leaks.
Just before grilling the chicken, make the Spicy Basil Chimichurri:
- Combine all the chimichurri ingredients in a food processor: Fresh basil, fresh parsley, a little onion, garlic, a jalapeno pepper or two, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and black pepper….
- And that’s it!
This Spicy Basil Chimichurri recipe makes more than you’ll need to accompany the Citrus Grilled Chicken. Simply freeze the rest in small containers for a taste of summer all winter long! Because of the parsley, it won’t turn a funky brown color like pesto does.
Citrus Grilled Chicken with Spicy Basil Chimichurri for a late summer Latin American celebration!
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Late Summer Latin American Cuisine. We’re featuring casual warm-weather fare such as cocktails, appetizers, grilled foods, delicious sides and decadent desserts. Our host is Tamara who blogs at Beyond Mere Sustenance.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, it’s a virtual dinner party! We choose a theme each month and members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party but rather than going house to house, simply hop from blog to blog to check them out. Be sure to check out all of the deliciousness we’ve put together for our Latin American celebration-inspired dishes!
Late Summer Latin American Cuisine!
- Brazilian Caipirinha Cocktail – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Easy Peruvian Pisco Sour Cocktail – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Grilled Citrus Chicken with Spicy Basil Chimichurri – From a Chef’s Kitchen (YOU’RE HERE!)
- Steak Adobo Tacos – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Citrus-Marinated Pork Chops with Hatch Chile – Beyond Mere Sustenance
- Quick Mexican Pickled Onions and Carrots – Shockingly Delicious
- Venezuelan-Style Black Beans (Caraotas Negras) – Sarah’s Cucina Bella
- Easy Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice – The Heritage Cook
- Easy Tres Leches Cake – Clandestine Cake Club
- Chocotorta – Argentinian Chocolate Cake – Creative Culinary
Helpful Tools and Equipment to make Grilled Citrus Chicken with Spicy Basil Chimichurri (Affiliate Links):
- MARINADE AND CHICKEN:
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 3 heaping cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 heaping cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded if desired, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 large lemon, juiced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh basil leaves and orange wedges, for garnish
- MARINADE AND CHICKEN: Whisk together orange juice, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, oregano, salt, chipotle powder and black pepper.
- Pour into a zipper-top plastic bag.
- Add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- CHIMICHURRI: Just before grilling the chicken, combine all the ingredients for the chimichurri in a food processor. Process until smooth.
- CHICKEN: Preheat a grill over medium-high heat.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the grill. (Reserve some of the marinade. Reduce heat to medium-low. Close the lid and cook 6-8 minutes on the first (top) side.
- Flip the chicken, brush with some of the marinade and cook another 6-8 minutes on the second side or until chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees. Discard remaining marinade.
- To serve: Place chicken on a platter. Drizzle with chimichurri and garnish with fresh basil leaves and orange wedges.
This recipe makes more chimichurri than you'll need for the chicken. Freeze the rest in small containers.
Amount Per Serving Calories 784 Total Fat 60g Saturated Fat 9g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 49g Cholesterol 102mg Sodium 1996mg Carbohydrates 21g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 3g Sugar 11g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 42g