Romesco sauce is traditionally found in Northern Spain, and is a wonderful accompaniment to fish, chicken, and grilled vegetables. I thought I would fancy up some chicken when Ryan came home from his last road trip, and decided to make him this dinner. The roasted red peppers and tomatoes add a nice punch and acidity to the sauce, which makes it stand up well with most side dishes. I decided to serve a white bean puree instead of mashed potatoes or another starch because 1) it’s different, 2) he loves extra protein, and 3) we ate dinner at midnight. This dish tastes light and is very healthy, but is hearty and filling at the same time. Perfect components for my baseball player!
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
4 chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
2 roasted red bell peppers, stems and seeds removed*
2 roma tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large white onion, small dice
1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp dried thyme
1 small pinch red pepper flakes
1 can white (or navy) beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup packed fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
- Chop the red bell peppers and the tomatoes into a medium dice. Precision isn’t necessary because it will all end up in the food processor anyway.
- Heat a large pan on medium-high heat with 1 tbs olive oil. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and sear on each side for about 2 minutes. You want the chicken to be golden brown. It will not be cooked through, but remove onto a plate and set aside.
- Add 2 tbs olive oil to the pan along with the onion and garlic. Saute until the onions turn translucent. Separate half of the garlic and onions onto a small plate, which will be used for the white bean puree later.
- Add the red wine to the pan. Bring up the heat so that the wine simmers for a minute before adding the red peppers, tomatoes, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Bring the heat back down to a low simmer, add the chicken breasts, and cook for 15 minutes or so, or until the chicken is cooked completely through.
- While the chicken is cooking, heat another medium skillet with the remaining onions and garlic. Add the white beans and cook on medium heat until the beans are warmed through. Put the mix into a food processor along with the fresh basil and begin to roughly chop. This side dish is replacing a mashed potato, so you want the texture to remain firm and chunky, not smooth like a hummus. Continue to pulse the processor and add oil until you’ve reached a nice consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm in a bowl until serving. Rinse out the food processor well, as you’ll need it next for the sauce.
- After the chicken has finished cooking, remove the breasts onto a plate. Keep warm by covering in foil. Add the sauce components to the food processor and blend until the sauce is completely broken down. Pour through a strainer into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Plate the meal by dividing the white bean puree among four dishes. Add one chicken breast per plate and then drizzle the sauce around the puree (as pictured). I like serving the chunky part of the sauce on top of the chicken as a relish of sorts, but you can choose to discard it if you want. Serve with some crunchy bread to soak up all the good stuff.
*This is one of those times where I would say buying the canned version is a huge time saver. I suggest rinsing the peppers really well under water, as the taste of the marinating juices tends linger in any dish I’ve used them in otherwise.