Chicken and Scallions with Smoky Romesco

Surprise your family with spicy Spanish romesco sauce over grilled chicken.


  • 2 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • About 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO )
  • 1 1-inch-thick slice good-quality white bread, crust discarded and bread torn into small pieces
  • About 1/2 cup blanched almonds (a couple of generous handfuls)
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons sherry vinegar or dry sherry (a generous splash)
  • 2 large roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 pounds large scallions (about 3 bunches)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • A generous handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Crusty bread, for serving


Pre-heat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high.

Place the anchos in a small saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and reconstitute until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the anchos from the water (reserve the water) and pat dry, then coarsely chop.

In a large skillet, heat the EVOO , eight turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the bread and almonds to the pan and toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the onion to the pan, increase the heat a bit and cook for a few minutes to soften. Add the garlic and paprika; season with salt and pepper. Cook for a couple minutes more, stirring constantly. Stir in the vinegar (or sherry). Transfer the contents of the pan, the toasted bread and almonds, the chopped anchos and the roasted peppers to a food processor. Mix until smooth, adding a splash of the reserved ancho liquid, if necessary.

Spray the chicken and scallions with the cooking spray; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken and scallions on the grill or grill pan and cook, turning once, until marked evenly, about 5 minutes for the scallions and 10-12 minutes for the chicken. Dress the chicken with the parsley and lemon juice and serve with the scallions, crusty bread and romesco.

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