Chicken is absolutely loaded with tryptophan, which can boost mood and help sleep come easier. It’s also high in vitamin B3 (a.k.a. niacin), which the Chicago Health and Aging Project found may slow cognitive decline. Here we take chicken thighs and jazz ’em up with a tantalizing minted chimichurri. The scent of mint has been shown to increase alertness, and the taste is perfect for waking up chicken and other meats.
For the Minted Chimichurri
Makes 1 1/2 cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup fresh mint, tightly packed
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, tightly packed
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano (or 3 tbs. dried)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 3 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Baked Chicken
Makes four servings
Prep time: 20 minutes (plus up to two hours to marinate)
Cook time: 40 minutes
- 8 pasture-raised, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 11/2 cups minted chimichurri (at left)
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Add all the minted chimichurri ingredients to a blender or food processor, and process until well combined.
Put the chicken in a large bowl with 6 tablespoons of the chimichurri and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes or up to two hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Wipe the chicken with a paper towel to remove excess chimichurri; place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet skin side up and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reaches 160 degrees F.
Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and drizzle a few tablespoons of the remaining chimichurri over it. Serve, with the rest of the chimichurri on the side.
Per Serving: Calories: 140; Total Fat: 7 g (2 g saturated, 0 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 4.5 g; Protein: 14 g; Fiber: 0.5 g; Sodium: 426 mg
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.