Romesco is a tomato-based sauce that comes from the Catalonia region of Spain. This is a very handy recipe to keep as this sauce goes well with a lot of things and I often use it in the summer with fish or meat.

Here it is with chicken and a big thank you to my chef friend Brian McDermott who introduced me to the delicious slow-reared chicken from Noone’s Poulty in Donegal. You can find them now as part of the Simply Better range in Dunnes.

The braised chicken and chorizo rice is another lovely summertime recipe. You could also add peas or sweet corn to it.

This is a recipe we use in our Cookery School and it is fantastic to be back open again. It has been a long wait. We were delighted to welcome the winners of the Irish Farmers Journal competition for a day recently on one of our first days.

Happy Cooking,


Speedy Roast Chicken with Potato Wedges and Romesco Sauce

Serves 4–6

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish
  • 1 spatchcock chicken (preferably free-range or organic)
  • 4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 large garlic bulbs, halved
  • 300ml (½ pint) chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 1 small lemon, sliced
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the romesco sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 × 340g (12oz) jar of roasted peppers in brine, drained
  • 100g (4oz) toasted blanched almonds
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).

    2 Mix the oil with the paprika and thyme. Rub the chicken all over with some of the oil mixture and season with salt and pepper, then tuck the wings slightly under the breast.

    3 Put the potato wedges and halved garlic bulbs into a large roasting tin and toss in the remaining oil mixture, then pour around the chicken stock and add the lemon slices.

    4 Place the chicken on a rack set in the roasting tin and roast on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until the skin is nice and crisp and the flesh is cooked through and tender.

    5 Meanwhile, to make the romesco sauce, place the peeled garlic cloves in a food processor with the drained contents of the jar of roasted peppers and the almonds, vinegar and oil. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

    6 Transfer the cooked chicken to a carving board and loosely cover with foil. Leave to rest for about 15 minutes.

    7 Give the potatoes a quick shake to even them out, then return to the oven while the chicken is resting. Once the chicken has rested, chop into pieces and arrange on plates with bowls of the romesco sauce, potato wedges and some of the roasted garlic.

    8 Garnish with a few sprigs of thyme to serve.

    Braised Chicken and Chorizo Rice

    Serves 4–6

  • 1 × 290g (10¼oz) jar of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4–6 boneless, skin-on corn-fed chicken fillets
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g (4oz) raw chorizo, peeled and sliced
  • 1½ tsp herbs de Provence
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) long grain rice
  • 150ml (¼ pint) dry white wine
  • 1 × 400g (14oz) tin of Italian chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml (1 pint) chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • To garnish

    chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

    2 Drain and reserve the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and finely chop, then set aside. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil to a heavy-based casserole with a lid.

    3 Season the chicken, then add to the casserole, skin side down, and cook for 2–3 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

    4 Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2–3 minutes, then add the chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Then pour the wine into the casserole, stirring to remove any browned bits from the bottom. Add the tomatoes and stock, then season with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken on top, pushing the fillets down into the rice.

    5 Cover the casserole with a lid, transfer to the oven and cook for 20–25 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the chicken and rice are cooked through and tender.

    6 Scatter over the parsley, then leave to stand for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and gently fluff up the rice with a fork. Serve straight to the table.

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