When it comes to summer dinners, there are two things things you can't go wrong with: grilling and dishes that incorporate the best bounty of the season. With so many fresh options this time of year, I get way more motivated to try some new things in the kitchen! This one has been in our rotation for the last month or so: Grilled chicken chimichurri and a fresh heirloom tomato topped with diced cucumber and burrata.
Ohhhh, how this tastes like summer! Surprisingly, I don't post a lot of meat-based recipes on here but I will say this: we are definitely a family of meat eaters. And one of our goals for this year was to find ways to enjoy meat while also supporting responsible farming and humane animal treatment practices. Enter a company we discovered through a friend called Grass Roots Farmer's Cooperative.
Based in Arkansas, but with farms in states from Oregon to North Carolina, the co-op has over 20 small family businesses as a part of it. On every farm, chickens, turkeys, cattle and pigs are raised in pasture in small broods and herds making sure that they have a higher quality of life. Some are even Animal Welfare Approved – a certification recognized by the ASPCA® Shop With Your Heart program.
The farms also use 100% organic and sustainable farming practices on fresh pasture and implement agricultural methods that regenerate the soil, so they're looking out for the earth while also looking out for us!
You may find it interesting that out of all their meat products, I chose to feature chicken - but there's a good reason for that. If you know anything about mass raised and produced chicken it's that it's one of the most inhumane and unhealthy meats. And that's part of the reason why most chicken is pretty bland and, frankly, not that good for you.
So what does fresh chicken taste like? Way better. You know the difference in taste between plucking a dusty, wild blackberry off the bush that's been ripened by the sun, compared to a shipped, under-ripened blackberry at the grocery store? It's kind of like that. So while you should absolutely experience some of the amazing cuts that Grass Roots offers, throw in some chicken to your order too and see what I'm talking about! Now, let's get on with the recipe, shall we?
Grilled Chicken Chimichurri // sauce will serve 6-8 people
- chicken legs & thighs
- ½ c. flat leaf parsley
- ¼ c. cilantro
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
- 1 shallot
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (can also use red wine vinegar!)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup avocado oil
To Make: The chimichurri is the most time consuming part of this recipe, and prep time can be shortened if you choose to use a food processor instead of chopping by hand. But, be warned! The flavor can change a bit by doing it that way! I prefer to keep the flavors pure and go by hand.
Finely chop the parsley, cilantro, oregano, shallot and garlic cloves, and place in a bowl. Add the white wine vinegar, olive oil and avocado oil, and thoroughly mix. Next, brush a bit of the mixture onto the chicken pieces and let sit for at least an hour in the refrigerator. When you're ready, just grill those babies up according to your liking! I love a good char on the chicken myself. Serve the remaining chimichurri on the side to top the chicken with!
Chef's Notes: This chimichurri is non-traditional in two ways: the cilantro and the avocado oil. I love the addition of the cilantro for more bite, and the avocado oil to help neutralize a bit of the acid that comes from the vinegar. As always, I suggest playing around with the elements to get it just right to you! And if you're the type who can't stand cilantro - leave it out!
Also, the first time I made this, I didn't have fresh oregano on hand, and used dried oregano instead. It was a slightly different flavor, but just as good. And if you have leftover chimichurri, it will actually preserve pretty well in the fridge for a week or so! Otherwise, freeze it in ice cube trays and use as needed!
For the tomato salad, well, that's simple. Slice up some heirloom tomato, dice up some cucumber, and top with burrata! Drizzle a bit of olive oil, sea salt, and chimichurri on top. Enjoy!!
If you are interested in learning more about the Grass Roots program, you can check out their site here, and use the code cocokelley at checkout for $30 off your first purchase of $150 or more!! For the quality, I find their prices to be really reasonable. Everything arrives frozen, so you can just pop it right into the freezer until you're ready to defrost and eat.
This weekend we're going to be trying out their ribs for a little Father's Day bbq! I've also had the pork and italian sausages, and was super pleased with all the fresh flavor in their meat, so I can't wait to try these - and maybe bring you some more recipes too.