Cast Iron

Pan-Roasted Arctic Char with Chimichurri

April 19, 2017
2 Ratings
Photo by Alexandra Stafford
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Chimichurri is my mother's dinner-party secret weapon. She makes it year round and serves it with everything from whole roasted beef tenderloin to pan-seared arctic char to grilled chicken thighs — this sauce is good on everything. Pictured above, the sauce is drizzled over fish, sautéed chickpeas, and bread.

To make the chickpeas, simply heat a generous amount of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooked chickpeas or drained, rinsed and dried canned chickpeas, and cook until they begin to turn golden, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, about 5 minutes or so. Drizzle with chimichurri. Rice, barley, farro—anything would be good with this chimichurri.

If you want to skip the pan-roasting, you could follow the broiling method in this post, which also calls for briefly marinating the arctic char in some fresh citrus and honey, which would be nice here, too: Broiled Lemon-Honey Arctic Char with Citrus SauceAlexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup finely minced shallots
  • pinch kosher salt
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon, lime or a combination of the two juices, plus more wedges for serving
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for coating the fish
  • 1/2 cup finely minced cilantro, parsley or a combination of the two
  • 4 4- to 5-oz filets arctic char
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • bread, chickpeas or both for serving
  1. Set a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 550ºF. Place the shallots in a small bowl. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper flakes to taste. Cover with the juice and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in the herbs and olive oil — the sauce should not be emulsified. Taste. Adjust with more salt, pepper, citrus, as needed.
  2. Meanwhile, set a cast iron skillet over hight heat. Pat the filets of char dry well with paper towels. Rub each filet on all sides lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. If your skillet is well seasoned, there's no need to add oil to it. If it's not, pour in a small amount of neutral oil—grapeseed is great—and swirl to coat, then immediately lower the filets into the pan.
  3. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until fish is just barely cooked through—it's OK if it's a little pink still. Remove pan from oven, transfer filets to serving platter or plates. Spoon sauce over top. Pass more sauce on the side along with citrus wedges, bread, and whatever else you decide to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alexandra Stafford
    Alexandra Stafford
  • Lisa
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

2 Reviews

Lisa April 24, 2017
This is another easy to make and versatile recipe that is incredibly delicious. Alexandra has amazing intuitive talent that is comprised of artful cooking, writing, and photography. She is very approachable in that she always responds to our questions, both good and bad alike, with respect and genuine interest.
After reading her article, I realized I had all the proper ingredients on hand. I had fresh organic cilantro and parsley from my yard. I used organic chicken breast that was breaded in coconut and almond meal, and organic chickpea from Trader Joe's. I had fresh, organic vegetables from the farmers market. The dish was topped with this simple yet unbelievably delectable sauce. It was packed with fresh flavor. What a meal! Thank you (and your genius mom) for sharing!
Alexandra S. April 27, 2017
Lisa, thank you for all this :) Oh my goodness, you are too kind—it means a lot. I'm so happy to hear you had everything on hand to make the chimichurri. Those coconut-almond chicken breasts sound lovely and the flavors so complementary to the sauce. I'm jealous of your homegrown cilantro and parsley. I need to get my herb garden going. Thanks for writing in!