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Grilled (or Roasted!) Romesco Chicken

Move over BBQ chicken; this romesco chicken is going to blow you away. It has a smoky-sweet flavor with a kick of brightness from vinegar. It’s SO GOOD. You’ll need to make a batch of this Romesco Sauce before beginning (you can make the sauce up to a week ahead!). Be sure to serve the remaining sauce at the table for dunking. You can either grill the chicken (I include instructions for using a gas grill and a Spark Grill), or you can roast it!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled chicken paillard, grilled romesco chicken, romesco chicken
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • Grill or oven

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil (such as grapeseed or safflower), plus more for the grill
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or 4 bone-in, skin-on breasts
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup Romesco Sauce (recipe link in header), plus more for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat a grill to medium-high (if using a Spark Grill, preheat it to 500˚F)—clean and oil the grill grates. If using the oven, preheat it to 450˚F. Drizzle the chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with the granulated garlic, and season with salt and pepper on all sides.

If using a Gas Grill

  • Prepare an indirect grill by turning the primary burner to medium high and turning the remaining burner(s) to low. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the cooler side of the grill. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Rearrange the chicken so that the pieces that were further from the hot part of the grill are now closest (they should still be skin side up). Cover the grill again and cook until the chicken is cooked through (the internal temperature should read 165˚F), about 5-10 minutes longer.
  • Brush the chicken lightly with the romesco sauce. Using tongs, flip the chicken over and transfer the chicken to the hot side of the grill (it should now be skin side down). Brush with more romesco sauce. Cook until the skin is lightly caramelized and crisp, about 1-2 minutes, moving the chicken as needed to prevent flare-ups. Flip the chicken over one more time and let it cook for a few seconds longer.

If using a Spark Grill

  • Arrange the chicken, skin side up, on the grill grates. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp (the internal temperature should read 165˚F), about 15-20 minutes. Brush the chicken lightly with the romesco sauce. Using tongs, flip the chicken over and brush with more sauce. Cook 2-4 minutes (uncovered), until the romesco sauce is lightly caramelized on the skin side. Flip the chicken over one more time and let it cook for a few seconds longer.

If roasting the chicken in the oven

  • Preheat the oven to 450˚F (230˚C). Arrange the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer (not touching) and roast 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, brush the chicken with the romesco sauce (be generous!!), then continue roasting until the chicken is cooked through (the internal temperature should read 165˚F), about 10-15 minutes longer. 

Serve

  • Transfer the chicken to a platter and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve the chicken with more romesco sauce on the side (or, for a fancier approach, spoon a circle of romesco sauce onto a plate and arrange the chicken on top). Enjoy!!

Notes

Tips:
  • You can make the Romesco Sauce up to a week ahead, making this a quick and easy weeknight dinner or meal with friends.
  • The recipe calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or breasts, which I love since they stay juicy and tender on the grill. However, you can use boneless, skinless thighs or breasts if you prefer. Grill them directly over medium heat (not indirect heat), turning them every couple of minutes, until they’re almost cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Brush with the romesco sauce, flip the chicken and cook until the sauce is lightly caramelized, about 1-2 minutes, then flip and repeat on the other side.
  • A heat-proof silicone brush works great for brushing the chicken with the romesco sauce.
  • A meat thermometer is the most accurate way to check for doneness (I couldn’t live without my Thermapen), but if you don’t have one, prick the chicken with a sharp knife. The meat should be white or rosy throughout (not pink), and the juices should run clear. 
  • The romesco chicken is fabulous with these Grilled Potatoes (or any grilled vegetables) or with Creamy Mashed Potatoes or Grits. Balance out the meal with an easy One-Bowl Green Salad.