I leave for Rome tomorrow for my honeymoon! It’s going to be my second time there, so I’m really excited so re-live it all and see some new things. I’ll be gone for two weeks, so I hope you don’t forget about me while I’m gone! I’ll try to learn some fun recipes and find some interesting ingredients to post for you when I get home.
This was a fantastic meal because it was light, fresh, and clean. The chicken was simply marinated in lemon, garlic, and olive oil, then grilled and served with a romesco sauce. Romesco sauce is a Spanish sauce that usually consists of almonds, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and red peppers. It’s got a great texture thanks to the ground almonds, and a great depth of flavor from the garlic, peppers, and vinegar. It’s light, but at the same time, extremely flavorful. You can use a number of different substitutions for the ingredients in the sauce, such as hazelnuts in place of almonds or dried red peppers in place of roasted red peppers. I used a combination of roasted red bell peppers and roasted piquillo peppers, which are a type of chili that is mild and sweet and tastes more like a bell pepper than a chili pepper. Romesco sauce is typically served with fish, chicken, and vegetables. This is great to make for a large crowd for appetizers or as a meal for your family, served with a salad and bread.
The ingredients for the chicken.
Combine 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper.
Cut the chicken into cubes (big enough to put on skewers, about 2-inch cubes) and place in a sealable bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken.
Seal the bag and gently shake everything around so the marinade coats the chicken. Refrigerate for as little as 30 minutes or as long as 8 hours.
You can made the sauce ahead of time or when you’re ready to grill the chicken. I made mine ahead of time.
Grind your almonds in your food processor or blender. You can toast them beforehand if you want, but I forgot to and the sauce was still delicious.
Add your roasted red bell peppers (I used a combination of red peppers and piquillo peppers), garlic, and red wine vinegar to the food processor or blender.
Add the olive oil to the pepper mixture while the food processor is running on slow until the sauce is thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place in a bowl and refrigerate until you’re ready to use. Allow to come to room temperature before serving, or heat in the microwave before serving if you’d like it to be hot.
Place the chicken on skewers and grill over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Be sure to flip the chicken skewers every few minutes so they cook on all sides.
Remove the chicken from skewers and serve the sauce on the side to dip the chicken in as an appetizer or serve the sauce over the chicken and with a fresh salad, rice, or bread.
- 4 chicken breasts, (about 1.5-2 pounds) cut into 2-inch cubes (big enough to stick into skewers)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (the zest of about 1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (the juice of about 1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup whole natural almonds (about 3 ounces), toasted or not (I didn't toast mine)
- 1 cup drained roasted red peppers from a jar (I used an entire 12 ounce jar)
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Combine all of the ingredients (except for the chicken) in a small bowl and whisk. In sealable plastic bag, combine the cubed chicken and the marinade. Seal the bag, gently shake the bag so that the marinade completely coats the chicken, and refrigerate for as little as 30 minutes or as long as 8 hours.
- Remove chicken from bag and discard the marinade. Place the chicken onto grilling skewers and grill over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning skewers every 3 minutes or so, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from skewers and place on serving platter. Serve with Romesco sauce (recipe below). Remove the chicken from skewers and serve the sauce on the side to dip the chicken in as an appetizer or serve the sauce over the chicken and with a fresh salad, rice, or bread. Serves 8 as an appetizer or 3 as a meal.
- Very finely chop almonds in a food processor or a blender until the almonds are almost like a flour (be careful not to over process the almonds or else you might end up with almond butter). Add in the roasted peppers, red wine vinegar, and garlic, then process to a coarse puree. With blender or food processor running, pour olive oil through feed tube and process until puree thickens slightly. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. The sauce can be made one day ahead; place in an air-tight container and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes about 1¼ cups sauce.