Argentinian Chicken Legs
For a long time I worked in Montreal’s Portuguese district and that’s when I discovered real chicken. We’re talking authentic, flavour-bursting Argentinian chicken legs. That is, the kind of chicken you can cook on charcoal lumps, full of flavour. They often top them with different spicy sauces like piri piri (which is a type of chili pepper). Over time I’ve grown into a big fan of Argentinian asado cooking, which consists of slow cooking over the fire.
With the asado I became familiar with the local flavours and that’s when I discovered chimichurri, an uncooked sauce used both in cooking and as a table condiment for grilled meat. It originated in Argentina and Uruguay, is usually green, and is made of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and red wine vinegar. When fresh it’s the perfect accompaniment for your beef, chicken and lamb. In short, it’s good with pretty much everything. I like to challenge myself in the kitchen whether it’s with complex recipes or with classics (but always with a different twist).
But why the chicken leg?
The chicken leg seemed to be the perfect candidate for this kind of project. Chicken legs reminds me of the girl from the 90’s movie that no one notices at all and later on is named prom queen. So I decided to make my chicken legs the prom queen. They’re not the cool guy, they’re not the captain of the football team. They’re nothing fancy, yet they’re just perfect inside and out.
The goal was to create a simple, easy and quick recipe with a flavour explosion. I personally love the BBQ Québec Argentina spice mix, which is great on everything including chicken, so it was a good place to start.
Here’s my recipe that will level up your chicken leg game. These are the House of BBQ Experts Argentinian Chicken Legs!
Argentinian chicken legs
- Buffalo Wing sauce (the best hot sauce ever for chicken)
- Bottle of your favourite Argentinian-style spices, or any spice
- ½ cup of fresh flat parsley
- ½ cup of coriander
- 1 jalapeno (no seeds)
- 2 tbs of oregano
- 1 tsp of thyme
- The zest and juice of 1 or 2 limes
- ½ cup of oil
- Flower of salt
- lemon pepper
- 2 tsp of sriracha sauce
- 2 tsp of tequila sauce
Preparation – Argentinian chicken legs
- Start by chopping the ingredients for the chimichurri. You can do this quickly in a blender but since I’m a purist I like to do it by hand. I feel like the texture is magical. By the way, you can easily store in the fridge for two weeks, and even freeze it.
- Apply your spice mix generously on both sides. I like to make incisions on the surface to have more contact with the flames.
- Preheat the BBQ between 350 – 375 degrees F. (It also works in the oven)
- Set the chicken on indirect cooking.
- Baste two times during cooking : the first time when the chicken is at about 125 degrees F (internal) and then grill afterwards. Not long though, just enough to give it a wonderful colour and texture. After I put it back on indirect cooking. At around 160 degrees F, I baste a second time.
- Cook until 175 degrees F (internal) and remove from the barbecue.
- Serve with chimichurri.
Note: It’s always good to brine the chicken if you have some time left. I like to brine it for 6 hours, dry and leave it in the open 2-3 hours before cooking. It’s always given me a super juicy chicken with crispy skin. Brine base is around 6% non-iodized salt, Kosher preferably per litre of water. I also like to add herbs, such as lemons.
So we got a super simple recipe that brings an explosion of flavours. Try it, you won’t regret it.
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