A perfect This And That meal, this Smoky Chicken Chimichurri Lentil Salad is fast, fresh, light and absolutely delicious! With hardly any cooking involved, this mix-and-make recipe can easily be adapted to a Vegetarian or Pescatarian diet.
A Good Chimichurri Sauce Lifts All Other Ingredients
A solid sauce is a great foundation for a dish that requires hardly any cooking. The stalwarts of this Spring dinner are my vibrant green Chimichurri sauce and the smoky garlic and paprika marinade. My boys love chicken wings and I have dozens of recipes with gorgeous marinades that I cook for them. But most of them are standalone chicken wing recipes that they eat as a snack. This one is special because it is a complete meal that comes together with smaller meal prep recipes - like cooked quinoa, chimichurri sauce, lentil salad.
The punchy, green, piquant flavour of the Argentinian Chimichurri sauce pairs beautifully with Spanish flavours of smoked paprika and garlic. To balance out the intense flavours, I keep the lentil and quinoa salad very basic. Almost bland. But with a lot of texture and fresh greens to lift up the overall dish.
You can make the chimichurri sauce, quinoa, lentil salad ahead of time (up to 2 days). If your chicken is fresh, you can also marinate it and store it in the fridge for up to a day before roasting.
Roasting The Perfect Chicken Wings
The marinade I use here is my go-to for most grilled protein that goes in my oven pre-dinner. Simple ingredients with a big payout. Smoked paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Often, I have a few different trays going into the oven at the same time, one with chicken, one with salmon and another with veggies; but they all have this same marinade. One stone, three birds and all.
When roasting in the oven, I never roast on foil. The protein invariably ends up sticking to it. I always use baking paper when the protein is going directly onto the paper (fish, chicken, tofu etc..). Because chicken wings don't release a lot of liquid as they roast, they are okay to go on a baking paper. But roasting them on a baking rack gives a crisper result. To do this, I lightly oil a baking rack and pop the chicken wings onto it so there is plenty of airflow above and below the chicken for optimum crispness. This also allows the excess sauce and fats to drip away and not pool around the chicken making it soggy. Before serving, I use a pastry brush to brush the cooked wings with the excess sauce that drains away.
Alternatively, you can use an Air Fryer to roast your marinated chicken wings. I air fry them at 200°C for 15-20 minutes.
Hungry For More Recipes? Subscribe to my newsletter. Check out Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to see everything I share! I also run a free Cooking Club on Facebook. Come and join as we learn new stuff every week!
Hungry For More Recipes? Subscribe to my newsletter. Check out Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see everything I share! And if you love cooking and new cookbooks, join my free Cooking Club on Facebook!
for the chicken
- 8 chicken wings, (whole 3-joint wings including drumette, wingette and tip)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- flaky salt, crushed and to taste
- black pepper, freshly cracked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
for the chimichurri sauce
- 2 cups parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- black pepper, Freshly cracked
- ½ cup olive oil
for the lentil quinoa salad
- 1/3 cup pepitas
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 400 g canned lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup packed mint leaves, chopped
- 3 spring onions, sliced (green only)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, aged or caramelized
- flaky salt, to taste
- black pepper, a large pinch / freshly cracked
- Extra olive oil and lemon wedges , to serve
- Pre heat oven to 210°C (190°C fan-forced).
- Place chicken wings in a large bowl. Add garlic, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and oil. Mix well. Place marinated wings on a baking rack so they are not touching each other. Roasted in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, turning the wings over halfway through cooking, until golden and done. Turn off oven and keep warm.
- Add chopped parsley, oregano, garlic, chilli flakes, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and olive oil to a small bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
- Toast pepitas and sunflower seeds in a small frying pan on medium-low heat for a couple of minutes until they are a shade darker and fragrant. Remove from heat, cool slightly and chop roughly.
- Add chopped seeds to a large bowl along with cooked quinoa, lentils, mint, spring onion, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- To serve, smear Chimichurri sauce on a large dinner plate. Add a hot chicken wing or two. Add a small serving of the lentil salad.
- Drizzle with olive oil. Serve with a lemon wedge.