Chili Basted Chicken with Caper Chimichurri


If you’re not up to the challenge of breaking down your own chicken, you can absolutely use either 2 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, or 2 chicken legs, or a combo of both in place of it. You can also double this recipe and repeat the entire process in a second cast iron skillet if you want to cook both halves of the chicken. Or, freeze the second half for a later use!!

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins



  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper
  • 8 ounces yukon gold potatoes (1 large)


  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper or ¾
  • teaspoon red pepper flake
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon capers in brine
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil


  • ½ chicken (leg and breast attached) or any combination of 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken parts

1. Preheat the oven to 450.:

2. Do some prep:

  • Thinly slice 8 ounces of yukon gold potatoes crosswise into ¼” thick rounds.


  • In a small bowl, stir together, 2 finely grated garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.


  • Pat one half chicken dry and season all over with salt. (Alternatively, season one chicken leg and one chicken breast (or any combination of 2 chicken parts) all over with salt. If you’re starting with a whole chicken, and breaking it down yourself, head over to this step by step tutorial.

3. Cook the chicken and potatoes:

  • Heat 1 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat until you see wisps of smoke. Arrange the chicken in the skillet, skin side down, and turn the heat down to medium. Place a second heavy skillet on top of the chicken to encourage the skin to make contact with the oil. Cook until the skin is deeply golden brown and crisp, 8-10 minutes. (This timing will depend greatly on the pan you are using, and how hot your burners are so keep an eye on things). Remove the skillet from the heat.


  • Transfer the chicken to a plate, skin side up (it will still be raw underneath, this is only temporary). Carefully arrange the sliced potatoes in the skillet (still off the heat), in concentric circles, overlapping some. Brush the potatoes with some of the chili-garlic oil. Season the potatoes with salt.


  • Return the chicken to the skillet on top of the potatoes, skin side up. Brush the chicken all over with more of the chili-garlic oil. Transfer the skillet to the oven, and roast, brushing the chicken or spooning it with some of the schmaltzy potato oil once or twice as it roasts, until an instant-read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast registers 150, about 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest. If the potatoes are not yet crisp around the edges, return them to the oven until the outside rings are brown and crisp and the interior potatoes are tender and schmaltzy. This is a best of both kind of situation, you’re not looking for full blown potato chips.

4. Make the caper chimichurri:

  • While the chicken roasts, coarsely chop ¼ of a shallot, 1 bunch of cilantro (leaves and stems!), and 1 jalapeno (remove the seeds if you are spice averse). Combine the shallot, cilantro, jalapeno, 1 small garlic clove, and 1 tablespoon capers in a food processor or blender and pulse to finely chop.


  • Add ¼ cup olive oil and 2 tablespoon sherry vinegar and blend again until homogeneous and combined but not totally smooth. Season the chimichurri with salt. You can also do this whole thing by hand, by finely chopping all of the herbs and vegetables and stirring in the oil and vinegar.

4. Serve:

  • Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before carving. Serve the chicken and potatoes with chimichurri alongside.

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