Crispy Chicken Thighs with Romesco Sauce

Romesco is a vibrant red pepper sauce given texture by blitzed almonds. It’s a dream with chicken, but it can also be served with fish, prawns and roasted leeks or calçots – the large spring onions from Catalonia in Spain, where the sauce comes from. Brilliantly, you can buy roasted red peppers in a jar, so you don’t have to prepare them yourself, making this sauce almost completely hassle-free.


Serves 2

4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on

2 tbsp olive oil

100g cavolo nero

1 tbsp water

120g padrón peppers

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

150g roasted peppers, from a jar

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

20g toasted blanched almonds

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

¼ tsp sweet smoked paprika

20g sourdough bread, crust removed

40ml extra virgin olive oil


1Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.

2Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place a large, ovenproof frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and put the chicken thighs in skin side down. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the chicken for 8 minutes.

3Once the chicken skin is golden brown and crisp, turn the thighs over and add the cavolo nero and water. Season with a little salt and pepper, then place the whole pan in the oven for 8 minutes.

4Meanwhile, place all the romesco sauce ingredients in a small food processor with a little salt and pepper, and blend until smooth.

5Place a small frying pan over a high heat. When very hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the padrón peppers and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the skin on the peppers has blistered and softened.

6Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to rest. Mix the cavolo nero into the pan juices and serve with the chicken, padrón peppers and a generous spoonful of the romesco sauce.

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