Chimichurri Chicken Bites

by Cate on September 17, 2006

A simply gorgeous, gorgeous day today. No rain in sight, and clear blue skies as far as the eye could see. We spent the afternoon at a BBQ at The Husband’s Uncle’s house, and man did they feed us well. I was expecting simple burgers and hotdogs, but they definitely went all out … garlic shrimp, grilled chorizio, assorted fruit, steak, roasted sweet potatoes, corn on the cob and then dessert. Needless to say, we were very well fed! Their house is right on a river and it was incredibly peaceful, and a perfect day to enjoy every bit of the outdoors. The Sister-in-Law brought Nicholas a Superman cupcake and as you can see below, he thoroughly devoured it.

The Neighbors came over for dinner and a movie tonight, and when planning our food, we kept it nosh-like, light, but making enough to get us through watching the whole movie. I made two new recipes tonight, both from Rachael Ray. One was a definite wow, the other just ok.

Rachael Ray has a perfect cache of recipes for nosh or munchie nights, so when we decided that’s the direction we were going in, I knew I could find something easily in her arsenal. First up, I made her Chimichurri Chicken Bites and as soon as I bit into it, I knew we had a winner. It was very simple to make and packed with flavor. Next time, I’ll halve the olive oil – one cup was way too much. The second recipe I made was Lavosh Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella with Prosciutto. It was fine, don’t get me wrong, just not a wow, particularly given the expense of the ingredients.

The Neighbor made Pigs in a Blanket for the kids, as well as a salad. Adding a batch of my Bleu Cheese Chips, we had a perfect menu for snacking during the movie. We saw United 93. Good movie, though none of us liked the abrupt ending.

All for tonight. Until tomorrow…

A year ago today … gone to the dogs.

Lavosh Smoked Cheese and Ham Pizzas
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

1 package lavosh flat breads, plain or flavored, sliced into 12 pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 pound smoked fresh mozzarella, sliced into 12 pieces
*If your market does not sell this, substiutute 3/4 pound smoked white cheddar, shredded
1/4 pound prosciutto, cut in 1/2-inch strips
1 cup arugula leaves, a couple of handfuls, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Cover 2 cookie sheets with lavosh. Drizzle lavosh with little extra-virgin olive oil and turn over. Layer cheese on the lavosh. If you are substituting smoked white cheddar, scatter the shredded cheese in an even layer allowing a little of the lavosh to still peek through.

Place bread in oven to melt cheese, 5 minutes. Cut lavosh into squares and dot each square with small ham strips, draping them over the cheese. Scatter chopped greens over pizza squares. Drizzle pizza squares with extra-virgin olive oil and season with black pepper. Transfer to plate and serve.

Rachael’s Chimichurri Chicken Bites
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

This recipe is my take on chimichurri, oil, vinegar, onions and garlic, herbs and spices that serve as both marinade and dipping sauce.

1 rounded tablespoon sweet paprika
3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, a couple of handfuls
3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 small white onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 3 splashes
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds chicken tenders

Preheat a grill pan over high heat. In a food processor combine paprika, parsley, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, onion, garlic and cayenne. Finely chop the mixture by pulsing.

Heat oil in a small pan over medium low heat. When oil is warm, stir herb and garlic mixture into oil and heat 3 to 5 minutes, then remove from heat. The oil will become infused with the flavor of the herbs and garlic. Transfer to a bowl and stir in vinegar and salt. Taste to adjust seasonings.

Cut chicken tenders into thirds and place in a shallow dish. Wash hands.

Spoon half of your chimichurri over the chicken and coat completely and evenly. Using tongs, transfer the bites to the hot grill and cook 2 or 3 minutes on each side. Transfer bites to a serving plate. Serve with party picks and reserved chimichurri sauce for dipping.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaay September 17, 2006 at 5:23 am

Ok, can I just say..Thanks for making me hungry at 1am! =)

The chicken sounds delish..I may just have to try it.


Anonymous September 17, 2006 at 6:12 pm

The chicken was excellent. Very tasty and not real heavy. I am thinking of trying to make that work for a sandwich. I will keep you posted.


Cate September 19, 2006 at 2:57 am

Jaay – You MUST try it! And one of these days, you’ll tell me where to buy that polka-dotted cake stand you have. :)

Anon – That you neighbors? Mmmmm, sandwiches. Melted cheese, some sauteed onions. I am so there.


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