Grilled Duck or Goose with Chimichurri Sauce

This simple South American condiment adds a tangy, flavorful twist to barbecued waterfowl

By Scott Leysath – thesportingchef.com

Argentina's most popular condiment, chimichurri sauce, is rapidly becoming an American favorite as well. If you haven't heard the buzz about this herby, garlicky emulsion, you're probably just not paying attention. It's simple to prepare, yet tastes delicious on grilled meats. In Argentina, this sauce is as common on restaurant tables as is a bottle of ketchup here in the States. Although often referred to as "Argentina's barbecue sauce," chimichurri, with its bright green color and olive oil sheen, more closely resembles Italian pesto but is more pronounced in flavor.

Using a food processor, you can whip up a batch of chimichurri in just a few minutes. Feel free to eyeball the measurements—it's really not necessary to be  precise. You can adjust the herbs, garlic, and jalapeño pepper to suit your own taste. Just pulse the ingredients a few times in the food processor; add olive oil, water, vinegar, salt, and pepper; then pulse again. If you do not have access to a food processor, a sharp knife and a whisk will get the job done.

Chimichurri is a fitting accompaniment to grilled waterfowl. As with any duck or goose, I highly recommend soaking the birds, or bird parts, in a mild brine solution for several hours to remove any excess blood before cooking. After brining, rinse off the birds and pat them dry. Add a few tablespoons of chimichurri to your favorite marinade, and then baste the ducks and geese in the marinade while cooking them over a medium-hot grill. Serve the birds with the remaining chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce

Traditional chimichurri is made with red pepper flakes and dried oregano leaves, but I prefer the livelier flavors of fresh jalapeño peppers and oregano. Total preparation time is about 5 to 10 minutes.

Ingredients

(Makes about 1 cup)

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, packed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions

Step 1
In a food processor, combine the parsley, oregano, garlic, and jalapeño pepper. Pulse a few times, scraping down the sides of the processor, until the ingredients are coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil, water, vinegar, salt, and pepper, then pulse a few more times until well blended.

Step 2
Allow the sauce to rest at room  temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. Leftover chimichurri can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.