Heart-smart Chicken Chimichurri Bites

As we approach the midway point of American Heart Month, we thought it would be an ideal opportunity to share a satisfying dish that’s friendly, both to your taste buds and your ticker. The trick, according to Leah R. Felger MSN, RN, program coordinator, the Parkview Heart Institute, is to keep it simple. “I think that using new ingredients needs to be fun, not intimidating,” she said. “Shop the outside perimeter of the store to find those foods that are more likely to be fresh rather than processed/preserved and be mindful of sodium and other unwanted additives.”

Chris Zimmerman, executive chef, Conference and Event Center, Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, offered this impressive hors d’oeuvres option that promises to impress your guests without hindering your heart health. This versatile recipe can be transformed into an entrée as well; just keep the chicken whole rather than chopping it up. Enjoy!

Chicken Chimichurri Bites

Executive Chef Chris Zimmerman

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for sautéing

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 garlic clove, peeled

Pinch of dried crushed red pepper

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

3 6-ounce chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

  1. Place all ingredients, except the salt, pepper and chicken, in a food processor and puree until almost smooth. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and chill. (The Chimichurri sauce can be made up to 4 hours prior to serving.)
  2. Add olive oil to a sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken and sauté until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Place the chicken on your desired serving plate and drizzle Chimichurri sauce over the top.

Serves 3 ─ 4

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