Spanish Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs with Parsley-Mint-Cilantro Sauce

by Food Hound on September 10, 2012

in Main Dishes, Meat, Sauces and Dressings

Post image for Spanish Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs with Parsley-Mint-Cilantro Sauce

I just don’t like parsley.  I think that when chefs add it to a dish to ‘brighten up the flavor’ it means ‘make it taste like you’ve added grass clippings’ and I leave it out.

Never mind that I love tabbouleh salad, and one of its main ingredients is parsley.  I will just choose to overlook that fact in support of my own argument.

Omitting parsley has meant a life without things like chimichurri or gremolata, despite how much my mouth waters whenever I see a picture of either of them, looking all green, vibrant and sexy.  Am I missing out?  Or is the whole world just way more into their food tasting like grass clippings than I?

I basically licked my dinner plate clean last night, so I’d say I’ve been missing out.

I made Bobby Flay’s Parsley-Mint Sauce to go with his Spanish Spice-Rubbed Chicken.  I don’t exactly know what possessed me to try it with parsley so front-and-center in the title.  Maybe it was the incredible color and texture in the online photo.  Maybe it was the fact that my mint plant, previously pruned for a large batch of mojitos, needed to be slapped back into submission.  Maybe it’s because everything Bobby Flay makes is ambrosia of the gods.  Maybe it’s because the Booze Hound gets crazy excited when dinner involves a dipping sauce.

Whatever the reason, I’m glad I tried it because we loved it.  I did get a little creative and add fresh cilantro to the mix, along with lime juice to thin in out instead of water, and it was knock-your-socks-off-good.  I also used half a jalapeno instead of 2 serranos because I’m the biggest spice pansy evah, but the Booze Hound described it as ‘having a kick.’  Success all around!!

And let’s not forget the spice rub for the chicken- also delish and very unique.  All of the spices get nice and toasty when the chicken is grilled, and because not everyone has ground fennel or smoked paprika lying around, I think it’s totally customizable to your personal taste.  I do have ground fennel and smoked paprika lying around because I have a Penzey’s addiction for which I probably need therapy.

This would be so much fun to make for a crowd because (a) it’s awesome, (b) it’s beautiful, and (c) it’s awesome.  Am I going to order a ‘Parsley4life’ t-shirt?  No, I still think that by itself it tastes like grass clippings.  I guess, to me, it’s like Thai fish sauce and is good in things but not solo.  It’s certainly excellent in this sauce- all bright flavors, no hint of grass.  No longer will I bypass any recipe that features it with the same speed at which I bypass any channel showing NBA highlights!  Enjoy!

Spanish Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs with Parsley-Mint-Cilantro Sauce
Adapted from Bobby Flay
Serves: 4-6
  • Spice-Rubbed Chicken
  • 1 T sweet paprika
  • 1 T smoked Spanish paprika
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 2 t ground mustard
  • 2 t ground fennel
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Parsley-Mint-Cilantro Sauce
  • ¾ c packed fresh mint leaves
  • ¾ c packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¾ c packed fresh cilantro
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ jalapeño (more if you like it spicy!)
  • 2 T honey
  • 2T Dijon mustard
  • 1 c olive oil
  • Juice from ½ lime (or more to achieve desired consistency)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. To make the sauce: Place the mint, parsley, cilantro, garlic and jalapeño in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Add the honey and Dijon and process until combined. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Transfer mixture to a bowl and whisk in lime juice, until mixture is a sauce-like consistency. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. To make the chicken: Preheat grill to high.
  3. Combine all the spice rub ingredients, mix well. Rub spice mixture on both sides of chicken thighs, and grill over high heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat, immediately drizzle with Parsley-Mint-Cilantro Sauce. Serve with additional sauce on the side.
All of the spice rub will be used if you make 12 chicken thighs (2-3 thighs per person), BUT there will be about twice as much sauce as you need for 12 chicken thighs. Leftover sauce would be great with any grilled meat, or mixed with Greek yogurt/sour cream/mayo as a sandwich spread or dip.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Micah Woods September 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

That looks good, almost Indian actually. So November and December I’m going to spend some time in Spain – Madrid, the Canarias, Barcelona. Botanizing. And hopefully eating lots of Spanish spices in a rare departure from Asian food. Don’t be jealous!


amy @ fearless homemaker September 26, 2012 at 1:03 am

This sounds amazing! I’m not a huge parsley person either, but i bet i’d love this. Bobby Flay’s recipes are always fantastic! Also, per your comment, i hope to see the pancake waffles on your blog soon. =)


Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: