Whole Roast Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Romesco Sauce
by our in-house chef Jeff Mosher
1 whole chicken, 3-4 pounds
1 lemon, sliced into circles
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch marjoram
1 head of garlic plus 4 cloves
3 pounds small potatoes, such as Yellow Finn or Fingerling, washed and cut in half
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 bunch Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Yield 2 Cups
1 can Spanish Piquillo pepper, 15oz, rinsed and seeds removed
3 clove garlic, chopped
15 grams toasted skin on sliced almonds
15 grams toasted breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
I like to season the chicken liberally with salt the day before cooking. The salt penetrates the meat making it more flavorful. I, also, like to use an old Julia Child trick to add flavor. Smash four of the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife. Carefully pull the skin of the chicken away from the breast and slide lemon slices, crushed garlic, and thyme sprigs under the skin on both breasts. Then take 2 T of the olive oil and rub it over the chicken. Season with black pepper if desired. Split the head of garlic and place inside the chicken along with the remaining thyme and the marjoram. Cook the chicken on a wire rack in a roasting pan at 375-degrees with the convection fan on low for 20 minutes. If you don't have a convection oven increase the temperatures up 25-degrees. Then turn the heat down to 325-degrees and cook an additional 20 minutes. At this point check the internal temp at the thigh. You should pull it out when it reads 160 degrees. It may require an additional 20 minutes depending on how big the bird is.
Wash and cut the potatoes in half or quarters depending on size. Toss with olive oil and salt and bake at 350-degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Cook until tender.
For the Romesco Sauce, combine first 7 ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend on low increasing to high until smooth, about 1 minute. Turn down to low and drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Transfer to a container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
This dish is meant to be served family style, cutting the chicken at the table with the roasted potatoes garnished with the chopped parsley and the Romesco sauce on the side, but feel free to carve the chicken in the kitchen and plate the dish. Also, a green vegetable on the side would be good, such as roasted broccoli or grilled zucchini. The beauty of Romesco is that it is very versatile. It is served all over Spain in Tapas bars with many different things, roasted potatoes, grilled shrimp, roast chicken, grilled meats or grilled vegetables for example. Please try it out with things that you like.
Wine recommendation: This dish goes great with the BDX, a Bordeaux blend, made from the grapes here in Oakville where the winery resides. It has subtle tannins and luscious dark fruit flavors that go great with the roasted pepper flavors of the sauce. The sherry vinegar adds bright acidity to the sauce complimenting the roasted flavor of the chicken and potatoes. Bon Appetit!