Originally concocted by shermen in Tarragona, Catalonia, olive oil- and nut-based romesco sauce is often served with seafood. This dish is perfect for a casual supper with friends. Accompany it with a green salad.
- For the chicken:
- 12 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- For the romesco sauce:
- 2 whole red peppers, cored and seeded, cut into halves
- 2 ripe tomatoes, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 to 2 pieces of stale bread, crusts removed, roughly torn
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 12 toasted Marcona almonds, plus extra for serving
- 12 whole hazelnuts, skinned
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon Spanish sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon
- Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven’s broiler. Place the pepper halves, skin side up, on a broiler pan and broil until the skins are black, 3 to 5 minutes. Allow the peppers to rest for 10 minutes. Peel off the blackened skin, then coarsely chop the peppers.
Make the romesco sauce. In a food processor or blender, combine the peppers, tomatoes, bread, garlic, almonds, hazelnuts, cumin, and paprika. Slowly add the olive oil and sherry vinegar and blend lightly until you have a chunky paste with the consistency of pesto. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. The sauce is best if made the day before. (Cover and refrigerate if making ahead. Warm to room temperature before serving.)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle the chicken thighs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. In a large oven-safe skillet, brown the chicken thighs for 3 minutes on each side. Add the thyme and garlic. Place the skillet in the oven and roast the thighs, skin side down, for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serve the roasted chicken thighs on a bed of romesco sauce, topped with some crushed almonds and a drizzle of olive oil.
Serves 6 — Recipe adapted from Javier De La Hormaza, basconefoods.com