Rachael Ray Magazine: Chicken with Smoky Romesco

When Rachael Ray first burst onto the Food Network with her 30 Minute Meals, I was immediately a fan.  I loved watching her cook the way most people cook at home - without recipes.  Many of her ideas on the show could be recreated at home without printing off the recipe - she gives some great tips throughout the show.  Of course, since then we all can't help be but aware of the empire she has built - magazines, cookbooks, more food related shows and her own talk show.

I have been an on-off subscriber of her magazine.  I enjoy reading it, but don't always come away with recipes I feel compelled to make.  The most recent issue, there were a few recipes that caught my eye.  I decided to try the Chicken & Scallions with Smoky Romesco for dinner one night last week.

The recipe is quite simple, which is to be expected.  The one thing I should have compensated for was the strength of the paprika I used - I keep Penzey's Half Sharp Paprika on hand for use in recipes where the paprika really does need to have some flavor.  The McCormick Paprika never seems to add much of anything to most recipes (in my opinion).  The Romesco was simple to make, but the paprika I used was a bit strong and I would cut the amount by about half.  The flavor was good and the heat kind of crept up on you after you took a bite.

I did grill the scallions, but they didn't turn out very pretty.  They grill very fast, so if you do try it - don't step away!  The recipe suggests serving it with a crusty bread, but since we are trying to keep things a bit lighter lately we opted to serve the chicken over salad.  The chicken is prepared verys imply.  Just a spray of Pam and a sprinkle of salt and pepper before grilling. 

Chicken & Scallions with Smoky Romesco
Source:  Rachael Ray Magazine - August 2010 (I think! I tore out the recipe and the page doesn't say what month the issue was.)

2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded (I left these out because I thought they would bring too much heat to the sauce)
about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 one-inch thick slice good quality white bread - crusts discarded and bread torn into small pieces
about 1/2 cup of blanched almonds
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
salt and pepper
3-4 tablespoons sherry vinegar or dry sherry
2 large roasted red peppers, chopped
8 pieces skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 pounds large scallions
olive oil cooking spray
handful of flat-leaf parsley
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high.  Place the anchos in a small saucepan and cover 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, 8 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 of 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 scallinos 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 parsely and lemon juice and serve with the scallions, crusty bread and romesco.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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Shelby said…
Looks great Patsy! I guess I need to get myself some good paprika and I love my food with some heat. :)
I tried Romesco for the first time this year. It is so good isn't it:D
This looks delicious Patsy, I think my husband would love this too. I love 30 minute meals like this with lots of flavor!

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