The depth of flavors here are amazing! The Romesco sauce is wonderfully versatile and amazing. Note, the sauce can easily be made ahead of time to make for a quicker dinner prep. (Pro tip: Double up when you make the sauce and save for over pasta later in the week!). All kiddos were a part of the clean plate club (yes, one even actually licked the plate!)
Braised Chicken Thighs with Romesco Sauce
- 3 medium red bell peppers seeds and stems removed, cut into slices of similar size to onion
- Head of garlic
- 1 medium sweet onion quartered and layers separated into petals
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 c Marconi almonds or toasted sunflower seeds
- 4 oz sundried tomatoes in oil undrained
- 6 boneless chicken thighs both skinless and with skin work well
- 4-6 Tbsp olive oil divided
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Peel off the outer layers of paper from the garlic head and trim about 1/4 inch off the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves. In a small deep pan or baking dish, place onion, garlic, rosemary sprig and peppers. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp olive oil, season with kosher salt and pepper, and toss to combine vegetables. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and roast for about an hour and a half, or until garlic cloves are softened.
- While vegetables are roasting, toast the Marcona almonds in a dry pan on medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.
- Once cool enough to touch, squeeze garlic cloves out of the skin and transfer to the food processor along with peppers, onions, and any extra oil or rosemary remaining in the dish. Discard rosemary stem and garlic skin.
- To the food processor, add sundried tomatoes, toasted almonds, salt, pepper, and vinegar and pulse until nuts and vegetables are broken up, then blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Set sauce aside until ready to use.
- Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Place chicken thighs on plate. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet or oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Place chicken, seasoned side down in pan. While seasoned side is down, drizzle other side with remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook 3 minutes on first side or until nicely browned. Flip and cook 3 minutes on other side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside on clean plate. Chicken will not be fully cooked at this point.
- Start to deglaze pan with sauce for chicken. Add half of finished Romesco sauce to pan. Using a whisk, combine sauce with bits leftover from searing chicken. Whisk well. Turn heat down to medium. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until sauce is warmed throughout.
- Return chicken thighs to pan. Spoon a bit more sauce over each chicken thigh. Note, you don’t need to use all Romesco sauce and can save any extra for a later use. Place skillet directly in the preheated oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
- set aside.
- Remove chicken from oven. Plate chicken thighs and sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or orzo and favorite vegetables. Our cheesy orzo is a great side and can easily be made while chicken is cooking!
Cheesy Lemon Orzo
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups orzo
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Using a medium sized pot, heat broth over high heat. Once boiling, slowly add orzo to broth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Stir. Turn heat down to low and cover. Cook until majority of liquid is absorbed, about 11-13 minutes.
- Turn heat off. Add lemon juice and stir. Let orzo sit for another 2-3 minutes with lid on so lemon juice can absorb. Add shredded mozzarella and stir until cheesy is combined and melted. Taste and adjust any seasoning as needed before serving.