Roast Potatoes with Chicken and Romesco

Chicken with Potatoes and Romesco Sauce

Chicken with Potatoes and Romesco Sauce


This is paella!

This is paella!

It has been a few weeks since I have posted a Mark Bittman Recipe, but this week I am hosting The Food Matters Project so I have to honor to pick the recipe and post it in it’s entirety. It’s a challenge to choose a recipe when you have 500 to select from, but the choice became clear when narrowed down to Spanish cuisine. Since I’m in Spain now, it just had to be Spanish. My husband is from Spain, and he has a summer program here. I’m the lucky duck who gets to come along with him (apart from the program), to enjoy seeing friends and family. This year, as in other years, I enrolled in great yoga class, enjoyed making rounds to the tapa bars, went to a village celebration hosted by some friends, had a week-end blast in Barcelona, and visited numerous sites in and around the town of León, in the Northwest.

Tapas and Montaditos at Cervercería Catalana

Tapas and Montaditos at Cervercería Catalana


There’s nothing new about oven-roasted chicken, but Romesco sauce may be new to you. The sauce originates in the area of Tarragona, Cataluña, in the northeast of the country. The ingredients are fresh tomato, roasted bell pepper, ground raw or roasted almonds, garlic, and olive oil. It makes a great companion to roast chicken, beef, pork, grilled tofu, fish, or vegetables. The following recipe for roast potatoes with chicken and romesco is courtesy Mark Bittman;  I did not follow the recipe exactly, as I fried the potatoes aside. I know what you’re thinking—fried potatoes are not a healthy food. Learning how to eat healthy doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat some of foods that aren’t good for you. Unless you are on a very strict diet for your health, you can take pleasure in a few “forbidden foods,” as long as it’s a small amount and you don’t do it often.

Mercado de León

Mercado de León

*I did not follow the recipe exactly as I cooked the potatoes separately and I omitted the parsley from the Romesco sauce. 


Servings: 4

Time: 1 hour, largely unattended



6 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed

1-1/2 pounds new potatoes or other small potatoes, halved

Salt and black pepper

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

4 bone-in chicken thighs; or 2 bone-in chicken breasts, each cut in half

1/2 cup almonds

1 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped

1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, or to taste

1 packed cup fresh parsley

2 tablespoons sherry or white wine vinegar (I recommend starting with less vinegar and adding to taste)



1. Heat the oven to 400° F. Drizzle the bottom of a shallow roasting pan or a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the potatoes, toss to coat with the oil, spread in a single layer, and sprinkly with salt and pepper. Roast, undisturbed, until they’re just beginning to sizzle, about 10 minutes.

2. Top the potatoes first with the rosemary, then the chicken pieces, all skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 2 more tablespoons of the oil. Roast for about 15 minutes, then baste the chicken with the pan drippings and rotate the pan. If necessary, adjust the oven temperature so the chicken and the potatoes brown but do not burn. Chicken breasts will be done in 15 or 20 minutes, thighs in 25 or 30.

3. Meanwhile, combine the almonds, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, parsley and vinegar in a food processor or blender. With the machine running, slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil; pruée into a thick paste, adding more oil of necessary to keep the machine running and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

4. The chicken and potatoes are done when the potatoes are tender and release easily from the pan and the chicken is opaque and the juices run clear. Serve each piece of chicken with a spoonful of the potatoes, a little of the pan juices, and a dollop of romesco.



The New York Times



This recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Pennywise Platter


Chicken with a Variation of Ratatouille

Chicken and a Variation of Ratatouille

Chicken and a Variation of Ratatouille


This week for the Food Matters Project, hosts Evi and Sam at Fifth Floor Kitchen chose Mark Bittman’s recipe Vegetables au Vin with Coq (pg. 466). The recipe listed a couple of ingredients that I just didn’t feel like eating this week, like bacon and green beans. The recipe also had chicken, onions, eggplant, olive oil, and wine—all right, I could do something with that.

For inspiration, I started out by drinking the wine and then I remembered a Paula Wolfert recipe that I posted a couple of months ago. Her recipe for samfaina is a Catalonian vegetarian dish very similar to ratatouille, but the eggplant is made into a puree and folded in to the cooked vegetables, and there isn’t any zucchini. Imagine folding baba ganoosh in with cooked peppers and onions. I thought that I couldn’t go wrong with that and my insight was correct. The chicken with a variation of ratatouille was a great success with my family and friends. (Pollo con samfaina may be a more accurate name for the dish.)


Servings: 6

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Baking Time: 20 minutes


1 whole chicken, (to be carved into serving portions)

1 onion, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/8-inch wide strips

1 red bell pepper, halved and deseeded

1 green bell pepper, halved and deseeded

1 eggplant

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Prepare the chicken by removing and discarding the skins, and sprinkling the meat with salt and pepper. Cut the chicken into serving pieces: 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 breasts, and 2 wings. (Save the carcass to make soup stock for another occasion. The stock freezes well.)

2. Pre-heat the oven to 400°, and then slice the eggplant lengthwise from top to bottom. Salt the cut sides of the eggplant and set the pieces aside for 15 minutes to release some of their water and bitterness. After 15 minutes wipe them off and pat them dry.

3. Brush a little olive oil on the cut sides of the eggplant, and then spread a baking pan with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the oil. Place the eggplant and the bell peppers on the baking pan facing down. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the bell peppers over and bake another ten minutes, and then remove the bell peppers from the oven and set them aside on a plate. Flip the eggplant over and continue to cook it for another 15 minutes. When it is done remove it from the oven and set it aside.

4. While the peppers and the eggplant are in the oven, get a large skillet out and begin to brown the chicken pieces in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Set the chicken aside after you have browned all the pieces on both sides. Clean out the pan and begin to sauté the onion in 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. After the onion turns soft and translucent, add the minced garlic and sauté 2 more minutes.

5. Cut each of the halved bell peppers into quarters and then place them in the pan with the onions, stir them in well with the onions. Add ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon dry thyme, stir, and then add the chicken pieces to the pan mixing well with the onions and peppers. Cover and bake 10 minutes, and then remove the lid and bake 10 more minutes.

6. While the chicken is in the oven prepare the eggplant. Use a soup spoon to scrape away eggplant meat from the skin. Put the eggplant meat into a bowl and use a fork to mash it up good. Add 1-tablespoon olive oil and mix it in well.

7. When the chicken is ready remove it from the oven and set the chicken pieces on a serving platter. Fold eggplant in with the onions and peppers and then pour it out of the pan and over the chicken.

Serving suggestions: serve along with some brown rice pilaf, quinoa (without the pomegranate seeds), or polenta.

Lemon Pepper and Rosemary Roasted Chicken – Profile – Paula Deen

Lemon Pepper and Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Lemon Pepper and Rosemary Roasted Chicken

We are up to week 24 of profiling the “50 Women Game Changers” highlighted in Gourmet Live Blog. The honored woman we will profile this week is Paula Deen. So, please follow Mary at One Perfect Bite, and a special group of women food bloggers to find out why beautiful blue eyes Paula Deen makes the list.

Both of Paula’s parents died before she was the age of twenty-three. She and divorced while still young. Out of desperation, she began a small company at called “The Bag Lady”, making lunch bags of food for home delivery. Since she had agoraphobia, and feared leaving the house, her sons made the deliveries. Later, she work at a Best Western restaurant for five years and then she opened her own restaurant, The Lady and Sons. The restaurant was followed by the cookbook, The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cooking, and other cookbooks followed that. She appeared on Oprah in 2002, and got her own show on Food Network in 2003: Paula’s Home Cooking.

For this week’s recipe, I am modifying Paula’s Lemon Pepper and Rosemary Roasted Chicken recipe by cutting out the ½ cup of butter used in the recipe; I substitute it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil as a healthier choice. It is very easy to make and makes the best roast chicken!

*Tip – Don’t through out the bones. You can use already cooked chicken bones to make a stock. I keep them and cook them with a bit of celery, carrots, onion and a bay leaf. With the stock I’ll make a nice soup for lunch or dinner.


Cooking Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Yield: one whole chicken


1 whole chicken, cavity cleaned and washed

6 sprigs rosemary

½ lemon, cut into quarters

½ head garlic, clove tips cut off

2 tablespoons lemon pepper

2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning


18 inches kitchen twine

Garnish – Lemon slices and 2 to 3 rosemary sprigs

*Paulas suggestion – Cut off the tips of a head of garlic and place it in the roasting pan. Roasted garlic tasted great spread on cibatta bread.


Procedure: Pre-heat the oven to 400•

Gently lift the skin...

Gently lift the skin...


1)  Salt the chicken cavity and place the lemon quarters, the garlic, and two sprigs of rosemary inside.

2)  Tuck the wings under the bird. Next, cross the ends of the drumsticks one over the other and tie them together.

3)  Carefully lift the skin away from the breast meat and place 2 4-inch sprigs under each breast.



Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken


4)  Rub the bird with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and then sprinkle evenly with the 2 tablespoons of lemon pepper.

5)  Lower the oven temperature to 350°. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165° and the juices run clear. Let it rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

6)  *Garnish – with lemon slices and rosemary sprigs.



Check out what delicious recipes these other bloggers have come up with:

Val – More Than Burnt Toast, Joanne – Eats Well With Others, Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan – The Spice Garden, Claudia – A Seasonal Cook in Turkey, Heather – girlichef, Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette – Healthy Living, April – Abby Sweet , Katie –Making  Michael Pollan Proud, Mary – One Perfect Bite, Kathleen –Bake Away with Me Viola – The Life is Good Kitchen, Sue – The View from Great Island, Barbara – Movable Feasts, Kathleen – Gonna Want Seconds, Amy – Beloved Green, Linda –  Ciao Chow Linda, Linda A – There and Back Again Martha – Lines from Linderhof, Nancy – Picadillo, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits, Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen, Annie – Most Lovely Things

Recipe: Garlic Chicken

Garlic Chicken

Garlic Chicken


Pollo al ajillo, or Garlic Chicken, is a classic Spanish dish and you’ll find it on many restaurant menus. It’s easy to prepare and it tastes delicious. I decided to post this recipe after I saw a photo on Jeanette’s site, where she prepared a chicken dish she got the idea from at Coldilde’s site. (Round and round in the circle of love).

My recipe for Garlic Chicken fits into my idea of healthy food, as there is no heavy cream or butter used in this dish. The only ingredients are chicken, olive oil, garlic, white wine, and salt. In order to get flavor, the most important step with this dish is to marinade the chicken with sliced garlic at least two hours, 4 to 6 is even better. Secondly, you must use a lot of garlic for the sauce and slice it thinly.

If you ever watched the movie The Good Fellas, you may remember the scene where the wise guys were in jail and the character Paoli, played by Paul Sorvino, used a razor to slice the garlic so thinly that it would liquefy in the pan with the oil (See video link.) That’s the way I love it, sliced thinly so it so it becomes creamy with the oil in the pan. And the more garlic the better! Everyone in my house fights over it. Try Garlic Chicken. It’s a healthy food dish!

Total Time: 3-7 hours, which includes marinating time

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6


Garlic Cloves

Garlic Cloves


I whole chicken, deboned

5 tablespoons light olive oil

1/3 cup whole garlic cloves

3 tablespoons white wine


Garnish – chopped parsley


Procedure:   Pre-heat the oven to 375°

1)  Remover the skin from the chicken. Slice the garlic thinly and rub the slices over the chicken along with a little olive oil. Salt the chicken on both sides of each piece and place the chicken in on a plate. Place the plate in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours.

Marinade with Garlic

Marinade with Garlic

2)  After the marinating the chicken, wipe the garlic off chicken and reserve it. Over a medium-high flame, heat 2 tablespoons of light olive oil in a 10-inch pan. When the oil starts to smoke, add the chicken pieces to sear them. Leave the chicken in place until they are golden brown. Turn them only when it will lift away from the pan easily, and then flip them and sear on the other side. You may need to add a touch more oil.

Very Tasty Garlic

Very Tasty Garlic

3)  After you have seared both sides of the chicken, pour 3 tablespoons of white wine over the chicken and place the pan in the pre-heated oven. Let the chicken bake for 15 minutes.

4)  After the chicken has been in the oven about twelve minutes, place the reserved garlic in a small pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Start to cook the garlic and when it turns white and garlic is evenly cooked, pour it over the chicken in the oven. (*Hint – if the garlic lands in the bottom of the pan it will become tender and juicy. If it lands on top of the chicken it will become toasted and crispy.) Cook another 10 minutes. Check seasonings. Salt if needed and garnish with parsley.

 Serving Suggestions: Accompany with grilled polenta and a large salad

¡Buen provecho!



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Other recipes you may like: Turkey with Cumin for Libido, Sautéed Swiss Chard with Garlic

This recipe is posted at Family Food Fridays