Chicken Legs with Romesco Sauce

Romesco sauce is a Spanish stalwart and is in the main a pepper sauce with almonds, I have adapted the main ideas but used ingredients easily found.

Portrait close up image of roast chicken legs served on a romesco sauce with steamed broccoli

Roast Chicken Legs with Romesco Sauce.

Romesco sauce is a Spanish stalwart. At its heart is a pepper sauce with almonds and roasted garlic.

Traditionally it is made with very specific peppers, Bitxo and Nyaro. However, they are pretty difficult to find certainly everywhere I have lived.

So like most of my recipes, I have amended it to reflect ingredients that are a little easier to find.

The almonds, fried bread, sherry vinegar and roasted garlic all remain and guess what it is awesome. Sharp and rich and big and bold.

This Romesco sauce recipe freezes wonderfully and this recipe scales fabulously too. It can be broken out of the freezer for a quick and flavour packed meal in a heartbeat, particularly when paired with some simply roasted chicken legs.

Chicken legs are the very best part of the bird if you ask me. They have so much more flavour than the often bland breast and roasting on the bone gives that wonderful aroma.

Roast chicken legs also stand up to big bold flavours, here we have spice and paprika and nuts and you still get chicken first and foremost. Likewise in this Zaatar chicken leg recipe and this braised balsamic chicken leg recipe.

Portrait overhead image of roast chicken legs served on a romesco sauce with steamed broccoli

Traditional Romesco Sauce and Fish.

Apparently, Romesco sauce is traditionally served in the Catalan region of Spain with fish. Something that my classically minded food brain really struggles with.

This sauce is big, I mean really big! So many flavours and I just can’t see it with fish.

In all fairness much like Halászlé which is a rustic fish stew/soup here in Hungary. Or indeed catfish paprikash, a much-loved fish recipe that, as you may imagine, is similar to chicken paprikash.

They are all packed with huge flavours and the subtlety of the fish is masked somewhat. But for some reason it still works.

In other news it has finally cooled down, gone are the 30 degree days and I even have to take a jacket to the football now. This makes me very happy.

Give it 3 months time it will make me very sad but for now not sweating when I walk the dogs first thing in the morning is a very positive thing.

Although trying to teach the dogs to wipe their muddy paws on the welcome mat when we come back in proves to be as frustrating as ever.

Portrait image of roast chicken legs served on a romesco sauce with steamed broccoli

Dabbling with Spanish Food.

I don’t cook much Spanish food but am really glad to add this to my collection. As with all my recipes little heed is given to authenticity.

I’m all about taking old ideas and making them work in my Hungarian kitchen and this Romesco sauce does contain a splash of heat, because… Well because I like it.

You can of course leave this out and go sweet. Traditional Romesco seems to swing both ways on chili so at least I’ll not upset the traditionalists on that front!

Landscape overhead image of roast chicken legs served on a romesco sauce with steamed broccoli
Chicken Legs with Romesco Sauce

Chicken Legs with Romesco Sauce

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Romesco sauce is a Spanish stalwart and is in the main a pepper sauce with almonds, I have adapted the main ideas but used ingredients easily found.

Ingredients

For the Chicken and Broccoli:

  • 2 Chicken Legs
  • 180 g Broccoli, Broken down into florets the same size as each other
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil, Neutral
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the Romesco Sauce:

  • 1 Head Garlic, Around 65g
  • 125 g Plum Tomatoes, Very ripe
  • 10 g Chili, Deseeded, something like a cayenne chili would work perfectly
  • 100 g Red Pepper, Deseeded
  • 100 ml Olive Oil, Plus 2 Tbsp
  • 35 g Almonds
  • 25 g Bread, From a single slice with no crust
  • 15 ml Sherry Vinegar
  • 10 g Almond Flakes

Instructions

For the Romesco Sauce:

  1. Heat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Take the head of garlic and cut it in half through its 'belly' and wrap each half in tin.
  3. Place the tomatoes, chili and red pepper in a roasting tin with half of the olive oil and a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper.
  4. Nestle in the two tin foil packets of garlic and roast for 20 minutes.
  5. Take a dry frying pan heat over a medium high heat and toast your almonds, watching carefully so they do not burn.
  6. When the almonds are toasted set aside and add the remaining olive oil into the pan and fry off the bread until golden brown.
  7. When roasted pop the garlic cloves out of their jackets and add everything for he sauce to a blender and blitz with 100ml of olive oil.
  8. I like to pass my sauce through a fine sieve but it is optional, seasoning with salt as required.

For the Chicken and Broccoli:

  1. When the ingredients for the sauce come out of the oven turn up to 200°C.
  2. Season the chicken parts and brown on the stove top until golden the transfer to the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 70°C, 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your legs.
  3. Remove from the oven cover with foil and allow to rest.
  4. Drop the broccoli into a streamer and steam for 5 minutes whilst you are waiting for the chicken to rest.
  5. Whilst the broccoli is streaming toast off the almond slithers and reheat the sauce.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1225 Total Fat: 74g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 50g Cholesterol: 379mg Sodium: 1772mg Carbohydrates: 50g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 10g Protein: 92g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

10 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. Looks so delicious Brian! That Romesco sauce has such a beautiful color and I appreciate that you pass it through a sieve, it doesn’t look as thick as I have seen around, super tempting!

    Reply
    • Yes there is a really thick Romesco that is much more akin to a dip, it is pretty much the same as this just with a higher almond content and not passed. It is delicious as a side dip, but definitely not as a ‘sauce’ 😀

      Reply
  2. I do love a classic recipe, and this sounds wonderful. To serve it with chicken is a great idea, but I think it would be delicious with fish too, although I do get the understanding of overpowering flavours that mask delicate fish.

    Reply
    • Fish is the classic serving, but fish and seafish in particular is such a luxury and rarity here in landlocked Hungary that disguising the often gentle flavour with this barnstormer would be a crime to me 😉

      Reply
  3. Haha – struggle with getting my dogs to wipe their paws too – one of mine acts like she’s allergic to the welcome mat! Btw – this Romesco sauce with a splash of heat sounds fabu! Loving your use of chicken instead of fish – so much flavor! GAH – is it lunchtime yet?!?!

    Reply
    • We have one that looks outside in the morning to see what the weather is like, if it is crappy he turns round and refuses to go out 😉

      Reply

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