The Food Matters Project: Roasted Potatoes with Orange Chicken and Romesco Sauce

This post is part of the Food Matters Project, a cooking collaboration among participating bloggers. Each week, we will cook a recipe from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, which places an emphasis on mindful and sustainable eating. Follow along with us!

This week’s Food Matters recipe was selected by Mireya of My Healthy Eating Habits. The original recipe was for Roasted Potatoes with Chicken and Romesco Sauce–which I altered to make into a spicy orange chicken.

I don’t generally like roasted chicken. Maybe it’s because I grew up eating dry, overdone roasted chicken. Or maybe because I forced myself to become immune to the scent of rotisserie chickens when I worked at a grocery store.

But I could eat this dish every and any day. The paprika and cayenne that coat the crispy skin on the chicken thighs provide a flavorful kick that compliments the Spanish Romesco sauce. I can’t wait to get my hands on some Spanish paprika as this would give the dish a more intense, smoky flavor. The honey, orange zest and orange juice give the dish a nice sweet and spicy twist.

The original recipe called for new potatoes, but I couldn’t find these at my grocery store and substituted fingerling potatoes. I think the colorful mixture of purple, yellow, and red potatoes looked delightful next to the chicken and Romesco sauce. I cut the potatoes into fourths, sprinkled them with two extra twigs of rosemary, and let them cook for about 15-20 minutes before adding the chicken–making for crispy and fragrant potatoes. The flavor was further enhanced by the chicken juice that dripped over the potatoes as they cooked and reminded me of some delicious duck fat fries I ate at Hot Dougs.

And then there is the Romesco sauce: a sauce that will become a staple in my fridge for years to come. Fresh, spicy, creamy and healthy–what more could a girl want? I’m planning on adding it to a tomato and mozzarella sandwich, pasta with chicken sausage and this egg sandwich.

You can see other other bloggers’ Roasted Potatoes with Chicken and Romesco Sauce renditions at The Food Matters Project.

Alex Milling is a recent graduate of Northwestern University and loves dry red wines.


Roasted Potatoes with Orange Chicken and Romesco Sauce
Serves 4
Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook and Canadian Living

4 bone-in chicken thighs
Zest from 1 orange
1 1/2 tablespoon orange juice
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes
4 springs fresh rosemary
Romesco Sauce (recipe follows)

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Place chicken in a plastic bag or shallow bowl. In a different bowl whisk together orange rind and juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, honey, paprika, coriander, ginger, salt, cayenne and garlic. Rub chicken with mixture, cover, and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Drizzle the bottom of a shallow-rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the potatoes and toss to coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and leaves from two of the rosemary springs.

Roast potatoes for 15-20 minutes.

Top the potatoes first with the remaining rosemary springs and then with the marinated chicken. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and two more tablespoons of olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, then baste the chicken with the pan drippings and rotate the pan.

Chicken thighs will be done in 10-15 more minutes, 25-30 minutes total. The chicken and potatoes are done 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 potatoes and a dollop of Romesco sauce.

Romesco Sauce
Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
Serves 4-6

This recipe can be prepared 24 hours in advance and lasts a week in the fridge.

2/3 cups almonds
1/4 cup roasted red pepper
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tightly-packed cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine almonds, roasted red pepper, tomato, garlic, parsley, and vinegar in a food processor. Add the olive oil and purée into a thick paste, adding more oil if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.


Originally posted on Monday, July 30th, 2012

9 Responses to “The Food Matters Project: Roasted Potatoes with Orange Chicken and Romesco Sauce”

  1. Jen Cantin

    July 30th, 2012

    You are like a plating professional over here with the artistic smear of sauce and the rosemary sprig haha.

  2. Elaine at Join Me For Dinner

    July 30th, 2012

    Love your idea of adding the Romesco to sandwiches. Will definitely be trying that!

  3. Brynn Cahalan

    July 30th, 2012

    I agree with Jen. Great photos! Looking forward to trying this recipe soon!

  4. Lexi

    July 30th, 2012

    Wow! This sounds great.

  5. Margarita

    July 30th, 2012

    Wow, I like how browned and crispy your chicken turned out. Beautiful presentation…

  6. kathleen @ the lushers

    July 30th, 2012

    I love what you did with the paprika & cayenne on the chicken. The honey & orange sound like great additions, too!

    I’m completely with you about not being a huge fan of roasted chicken, but I really loved this dish!

  7. Aura

    July 30th, 2012

    This looks so good! The roasted potatoes look perfect. And you are so right about the romesco’s versatility. Have fun with it :)

  8. Alex

    July 31st, 2012

    My friend Susie plated the food–she is the artistic one :)

  9. Evi

    July 31st, 2012

    Great picture- the sauce looks beautiful!

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