Turks and Caicos is still on my mind. I had a chicken satay by the beach and even though the carrot slaw it came with was overpowered with cloves, my Dark and Stormy covered palate loved it anyway. Maybe it was the crystal blue water and white sand in front of me or the warm, salt filled air. When I got back the Brooklyn, all I wanted to eat was that chicken satay. I found a recipe that failed me miserably, made me realize I hate curry and left me with a bunch of extra cilantro. I don't like to see cilantro go to waste because I love it (I used to despise it), so a chimichurri was definitely in my future. It's an easy sauce for just about any meat or vegetable; I went with pan-seared chicken and asparagus. The pickled onions are a nice touch in this dish. If you don't like cilantro, try eating some near the beach in Turks and Caicos.
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded to even thinness)
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
1. To pickle the red onions, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl until dissolved. Add the red onion and 2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves and stir. Cover and set aside at room temperature while preparing the other ingredients.
2. Combine the remaining cilantro, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and the olive oil in a food processor or blender and puree it until smooth. If you don't have a food processor or blender, chop the cilantro and garlic as fine as possible. Taste and add more salt if needed. Transfer to a small bowl.
3. Shower the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter in a pan over medium heat and add the chicken, searing for 1 minute or until it easily lifts off the pan. Flip the chicken over and turn the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let the chicken sit for an additional 10 minutes without removing/lifting the cover. Check the temperature of the chicken (it should be at 165 degrees) or cut into the chicken to make sure there is no pink and that the juices run clear. Cook longer if needed.
3. Serve the chicken with the chimichurri and pickled onion.