Roasted Chicken & Romanesco Sauce

Sunday we returned from a week in Cabo and this is the first dish I cooked in more than a week!

We stayed at an insane all-inclusive with views of the Cabo Marina, Downtown, and the Pacific Ocean {all at once.}  It was wildly luxurious sitting at the pool for hours on end relaxing, eating & drinking whenever we wanted, and soaking in the sun. Can I go back yet?

Now I am back to reality and that means a weekly dish from The Food Matters Project. If you haven’t been following, a group of bloggers is diving into a dish every week from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman.  This week the recipe is {yet again} a winner. Extremely easy to cook and the presentation creates the mirage you’ve been in the kitchen all day.  Mireya of My Healthy Eating Habits is this week’s host!

Roasted chicken is easy & healthy and this Romanesco sauce is one I will be playing around with in the future. Originating in Catalonia, Spain Romanesco is extremely versatile for meats. You use hazelnuts or almonds as a nutty base, toasted or raw, for different flavors. You process tomatoes and bell peppers with the nuts for the sauce, I opted to roast them ahead of time for sweetness and warmth. Imagine this sauce with any vegetable or meat of your choice, not just the chicken pictured here.


Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Green Beans, and Romanesco Sauce      serves 4      cooks in 1 hour, largely unattended

adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes or other small potatoes, halved
  • a few handful of french green beans
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs; or 2 bone-in chicken breasts, each cut in half
  • 1/2 cup almonds or hazelnuts {or a mix of both!}
  • 1 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and left whole
  • 2 garlic cloves, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or white wine vinegar

Heat the oven to 400° F. Drizzle the bottom of a shallow roasting pan or a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the potatoes, toss to coat with the oil, spread in a single layer, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, undisturbed, until they’re just beginning to sizzle, about 10 minutes.

Place the tomatoes and red peppers in a separate foil lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, do not let them burn. When finished set aside.

Top the potatoes first with the rosemary, then the chicken pieces, all skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 2 more tablespoons of the oil. Roast for about 15 minutes. Take the roasting pan out of the oven, then baste the chicken with the pan drippings. Here you carefully toss the green beans in the pan as well, make sure they get coated with the oil and drippings in the pan. Rotate the pan before putting it back in the oven. If necessary, adjust the oven temperature so the chicken and the potatoes brown but do not burn. Chicken breasts will be done in 15 or 20 minutes, thighs in 25 or 30.

Meanwhile, combine the almonds (or hazelnuts), roasted bell pepper, roasted tomato, garlic, parsley and vinegar in a food processor or blender. With the machine running, slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil; purée into a thick paste, adding more oil of necessary to keep the machine running and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

The chicken and potatoes are cooked when the potatoes are tender and release easily from the pan and the chicken is opaque and the juices run clear. Serve each piece of chicken with a spoonful of the potatoes, a little of the pan juices, and a dollop of romesco.

 Find vegetarian and alternative versions of this recipe here at our Food Matters Project Blog


Look out for a seared tuna recipe in the next week. We caught 12 Tuna and a Mahi in Cabo deep-sea fishing!


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::: keelymarie :::



8 Replies to “Roasted Chicken & Romanesco Sauce”

  1. Great post! I agree–roasting the veg first makes a big difference in the final flavour. Looking forward to seeing your tuna recipe!

  2. Cabo … deep sea fishing … sounds incredible! Can’t wait for the tuna recipe! Also I recently got caught by the Liebster blog award train and I have just loved your blog since the Food Matters Project helped me find it. So I could not resist including Keely Marie on my own list of nominees. 🙂
    Sarah recently posted..I’m coming back I swear & a LiebsterMy Profile

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