Butterflied roast chicken with romesco sauce

By Christine Cushing
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Butterflied roast chicken with romesco sauce

Romesco is traditionally a nut and pepper based sauce that originates from Catalonia in Spain. Originally made to be eaten with fish, it has since been widely adopted to pair with proteins and meats of all kinds.




  • One (1.5–2 kg / 3-4 pounds) chicken, butterflied
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (5 millilitres)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 mililitres)
  • Fresh chopped rosemary to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Romesco sauce

  • ½ cup chopped canned plum tomatoes (125 millilitres), drained
  • 1 slice rustic bread, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup skinned whole hazelnuts (60 millilitres)
  • 1 red pepper, roasted and peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (75 millilitres)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Sherry vinegar , optional


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lay the chicken down on plastic board, breast side down. With kitchen shears, cut to the right of back bone, all the way down starting from the top of the chicken. Repeat on opposite side, removing back bone completely. Flip the chicken over and just press down flatten chicken and break wish bone. Transfer to a roasting pan. 
  3. In a bowl, mix together the salt and pepper, rosemary, paprika,  olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk to fully blend. Pour this mixture over both sides of chicken, rubbing in thoroughly with hands. 
  4. Roast in oven at 375 degrees Farenheit until juice run clear and chicken is fully cooked and golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. 
  5. Meanwhile make the romesco sauce, cook the tomatoes, in small skillet, stirring frequently until most of liquid has evaporated, about 6-8 minutes. Cool. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wash pan and over low heat drizzle a bit of olive oil and fry bread, until golden on both sides. Let cool slightly. Wipe the skillet clean. In the same skillet, toast the hazelnuts until golden.
  6. Purée the roasted red pepper in a food processor. Add the bread and the hazelnuts; pulse until smooth. Add the cooled tomatoes, the garlic and cayenne; pulse. With machine running, pour in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until sauce is smooth. Do not overprocess or the sauce will split. Season with salt and pepper. Add a touch of sherry vinegar, if desired.


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