Friday, January 3, 2014

Spanish Roast Chicken with Romesco and Grilled Onions

I'm not sure how or why I ended up deciding that roast chicken or roast duck would be the perfect meal for New Years Eve, but I got it in my head that I wanted to roast a whole bird of some sort and I went to Fairway to buy both.  And then I looked at the recipes I wanted to make and decided that we would make the chicken for New Years Eve and make the duck on January 1.  We had to re-evaluate the duck and push it back until the weekend because the bourbon-pickled jalapenos need to pickle for 3 days so I'll report back sometime this weekend on how the duck worked out.  I'm pretty excited.  

Anyway, it has been a long time since we last roasted a whole chicken.  For the most part we roast bone-in chicken breasts because it is far less time and labor-intensive than roasting a whole chicken.  It also seems a little wasteful to roast a whole chicken when I'm really only interested in the breasts.  But every once in awhile we give it a shot.  And this recipe has me totally inspired to go out and roast more whole chickens.  It was delicious - the smoked paprika rub gave the chicken a really wonderful smoky, earthy flavor.  We were both a little worried when we pulled the chicken from the oven that it would be totally overdone (just look at how brown the skin is) but it wasn't at all.  The chicken was moist and juicy.  And when you ate it with the romesco (which was wonderfully smoky, bright and acidic and ever so slightly spicy) it was delicious.  I also loved the grilled scallions on the side.  We had some king oyster mushrooms in the fridge that I wanted to use so we threw them on the grill too while we were grilling up the scallions.  They kind of look like sunchokes in the picture, but they were mushrooms.  I can't wait to bust this recipe out at some future date.  There is more than enough romesco for 2 whole chickens.  I think if I were to have 4-6 people over I would cook two chickens, double the number of scallions, grill up some more mushrooms and serve it all with a salad and some nice bread.  Done.  Maybe I would start off the meal with some cheese and some Marcona almonds, but it would be a totally wonderful and relatively simple meal.  Now that I am back into the whole roast chicken game, there is an Ina Garten roast chicken recipe that I have been meaning to try for awhile that might just be my next attempt...

Recipe after the jump!


Spanish Roast Chicken with Romesco and Grilled Onions  
Available at Serious Eats 

For the chicken
1 large chicken (4 to 5 pounds)
2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika (we couldn't find hot smoked paprika, so we used a mixture of roughly 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup juice from 1 orange
8 medium cloves garlic
For the Romesco
3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
7 hazelnuts, toasted, with loose skins removed while warm
1 slice stale bread, roughly torn
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained
1 1/4 cup fire-roasted tomatoes (from a 14-ounce can), drained
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the onions
12 green onions or scallions, trimmed.
2 teaspoons olive oil
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place on a v-rack in a roasting pan, tucking wing tips behind shoulder of the bird.
Mix smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Drizzle olive oil and orange juice over chicken, sprinkle with spice mixture and massage evenly over the bird until it’s an even, burnished red hue. Place garlic cloves in the bottom of the roasting pan.

Place chicken in oven to cook. Using tongs, remove garlic cloves and transfer to a small plate when tender, about 30 minutes. Continue to cook chicken basting with pan juices every 30 minutes after the first half-hour of cooking, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F and the breast registers at least 145°F, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the Romesco. Combine roasted garlic, almonds, hazelnuts, bread, peppers, tomatoes, sherry vinegar, and pepper flakes, in a blender. Prepare romesco by adding all ingredients, except olive oil, to a blender. Pulse a few times to break up large chunks, then puree, adding olive oil in a slow, steady stream, about 30 seconds total. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove chicken from oven, tent it lightly with foil and allow it to rest. Meanwhile, preheat a grill or grill pan on high. Toss onions with olive oil then grill until charred on first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until charred on second side and tender, another 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Carve chicken or transfer to platter to carve tableside. Drizzle with pan drippings, scatter platter with grilled onions and serve with romesco sauce for passing.

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