How to make Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce

On a recent adventure through the vibrant streets and picturesque landscapes of Spain, I stumbled upon an enchanting dish that captured the essence of local cuisine: Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce. The dish featured succulent chicken thighs, marinated in a blend of fragrant thyme and rich olive oil, then perfectly seared to achieve a golden, crisp exterior while remaining tender and juicy within. The real magic, however, lay in the accompaniment—a robust and nutty Romesco sauce, its complexity adding depth and vibrancy to the chicken.

Inspired by this culinary delight, I embarked on a journey to recreate the experience at home. Through trial and error, research, and a bit of intuition, I gradually crafted a version of the recipe that echoed the original’s rich flavors and warmth. Now, with a measure of pride and a burst of excitement, it’s my privilege to share this refined Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce recipe with you. Immerse yourself in the joy of preparing this dish, and let each bite transport you to a lively Spanish market or a serene Mediterranean coastline, celebrating the simple yet profound pleasures of cooking and sharing good food.

Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce

Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce is a culinary delight discovered amidst the adventures through Spain's vibrant streets and serene landscapes. The dish features succulent chicken thighs marinated in fragrant thyme and rich olive oil, achieving a golden, crisp exterior while remaining tender and juicy inside. This exquisite preparation is complemented by the robust, nutty flavors of Romesco sauce, adding depth and vibrancy to the chicken and creating a harmonious blend of tastes. Inspired to recreate this memorable experience at home, the journey of perfecting the recipe was undertaken with passion, resulting in a refined version that is now eagerly shared. Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce is more than just a meal; it's an invitation to explore the deep and inviting flavors of Spanish cuisine, promising a taste experience that transports one to the heart of the Mediterranean with every bite.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4 people
Calories 869 kcal


  • 1 grill


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 12 chicken thighs

For the Romesco Sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 whole red peppers
  • 12 whole hazelnuts skin off
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 12 Marcona almonds
  • 1 piece of stale bread


  • Preheat the grill on your stove.
  • Position the peppers halves on a plate, skin cut side.
  • Take the steaks from the barbecue and cover them with a kitchen towel. Peppers should be cut into large pieces.
  • To create the romesco salsa, gently toast the star anise in a small deep fryer to expel their oil.
  • Transfer the diced veggies, peppers, bread, cloves, almonds, walnuts, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, balsamic vinegar, and sherry vinegar to a food processor till a crunchy paste with the texture of pesto forms.
  • Heat the oven to 200°C for the chicken breasts.
  • Sprinkle the olive oil over the chicken breasts on a sheet and sprinkle with salt.
  • Cook the chicken breasts for 3 minutes on each side in a warm deep fryer.
  • Roast for thirty minutes cut side down, with the tarragon and garlic.
  • Offer the marinated chicken thighs with romesco sauces, smashed almonds, and a squeeze of lemon juice on a base of romesco marinade.
Keyword chicken thighs

Cooking tips about Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce

Grilled Chicken and Scallions with Romesco | America's Test Kitchen Recipe

  • Select the Right Chicken: Opt for chicken thighs for their juiciness and flavor. Skin-on can provide a more crispy exterior if you’re searing before baking or roasting.
  • Marinade Matters: Marinate the chicken thighs with olive oil, thyme, and other herbs and spices of your choosing for at least an hour, or overnight in the refrigerator, to deepen the flavors.
  • Perfect the Romesco Sauce: The Romesco sauce, a blend of roasted red peppers, almonds (or hazelnuts), garlic, and vinegar, is central to this dish. For the best flavor, use quality ingredients and adjust the seasoning to taste. Some prefer a smoother texture, while others enjoy a bit of crunch from the nuts.
  • Searing the Chicken: Before combining with the Romesco sauce, sear the chicken thighs in a hot pan to develop a flavorful crust. This also helps lock in the juices, ensuring the chicken remains moist and tender after cooking.
  • Baking to Perfection: After searing, bake the chicken in the oven preheated to around 375°F (190°C) until cooked through. The exact time will depend on the size of the chicken thighs but usually takes around 20-25 minutes.
  • Let it Rest: Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes after baking. This lets the juices redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that every bite is succulent.
  • Serve with Sauce: Serve the chicken tapas warm, generously coated with the Romesco sauce. The sauce can be served either on the side for dipping or spooned over the chicken.
  • Garnishing: Finish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or thyme for color and freshness. A squeeze of lemon right before serving can add a welcome zing that brightens the entire dish.
  • Pairings: Complete your meal with side dishes that complement the rich flavors of the tapas and Romesco sauce. Consider light salads, roasted vegetables, or crusty bread to capture the delightful sauce.
  • Enjoy with Friends: Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce is perfect for sharing. Present it as part of a tapas spread to bring people together for a communal dining experience.

Serving suggestions about Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Charred Scallions and Peanut Sauce | America's Test  Kitchen Recipe

  • Complement with Traditional Spanish Sides: To stay true to its Spanish roots, pair Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce with classic accompaniments like patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), a simple Spanish salad, or grilled vegetables drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.
  • Crusty Bread on the Side: Serve alongside slices of fresh, crusty bread to mop up the delicious Romesco sauce. This ensures that not a drop of the flavorful sauce goes to waste.
  • Go for Greens: A light, refreshing salad composed of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and a light vinaigrette can balance the richness of the dish, adding a crisp, clean note to your meal.
  • Pair with Spanish Wines: Enhance your dining experience by pairing with a Spanish wine that complements the deep flavors of the tapas. A chilled glass of Albariño or a light-bodied Tempranillo can harmonize beautifully with the smoky, savory elements of the dish.
  • Offer a Cheese Selection: For a truly indulgent spread, include a selection of Spanish cheeses such as Manchego, Idiazabal, or Mahón. Arrange these on a platter with olives and nuts for guests to enjoy alongside their tapas.
  • Include a Variety of Tapas: Embrace the tapas tradition by serving a variety of small dishes. Alongside your Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce, consider offering dishes like gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp), marinated olives, and chorizo in red wine for a diverse and satisfying meal.
  • Fresh Herbs and Lemon: Garnish the dish with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro to add a burst of color and freshness. A squeeze of lemon over the top just before serving can inject a bright zing that accentuates the flavors.
  • Serve Family-Style: Present your Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce as part of a shared meal, encouraging guests to dive in and sample everything. This not only makes for a wonderfully communal and interactive dining experience but also mirrors the traditional Spanish way of enjoying meals together.

Top 5 FAQs about Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce

20 Best Grilled Chicken Recipes - Dinner Ideas with Grilled Chicken

  • What are the main ingredients required for Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce? The essential ingredients for Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce include chicken thighs, preferably with skin on for that extra crispness; olive oil and thyme for marinating the chicken; and for the Romesco sauce, roasted red peppers, almonds (or hazelnuts), garlic, and vinegar are key.
  • How long should the chicken be marinated before cooking? For the deepest flavor, marinate the chicken thighs in olive oil and thyme (along with any other chosen herbs and spices) for at least an hour, though overnight in the refrigerator is ideal. This allows the chicken to absorb all the flavors fully.
  • Can the Romesco sauce be made in advance, and how should it be stored? Yes, Romesco sauce can be made in advance. It generally tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze it for longer storage. Ensure it’s brought to room temperature or gently warmed before serving.
  • What is the best way to cook the chicken to achieve the perfect texture? After marinating, sear the chicken thighs in a hot pan to develop a flavorful crust and lock in the juices. Then, bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) until they are cooked through, about 20-25 minutes, depending on their size. This method ensures the chicken is crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.
  • Are there any alternative ways to serve Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce if I don’t have chicken thighs? Absolutely, while chicken thighs are recommended for their flavor and juiciness, you can also use chicken breasts or even drumsticks. Adjust cooking times accordingly, as breasts cook faster than thighs. Additionally, for a vegetarian option, grilled vegetables or tofu can be substituted for chicken and served with the Romesco sauce.

In conclusion, Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce stands as a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Spain, inviting diners on an unforgettable journey through its vibrant flavors and textures. The dish balances the juiciness of chicken thighs marinated in aromatic thyme and olive oil with the complex, nutty profile of Romesco sauce, creating a harmonious blend that is both satisfying and profoundly flavorful. This culinary adventure, inspired by travels and a deep appreciation for Spanish cuisine, has been meticulously crafted and shared, encouraging others to explore and savor the essence of Spain from their kitchens. Whether enjoyed amongst friends or savored in a moment of quiet indulgence, Chicken Tapas with Romesco Sauce is more than a meal; it’s a celebration of tradition, innovation, and the joy of sharing good food. Through this recipe, we’re connected not only to the rich tapestry of Spanish gastronomy but also to the communal spirit of dining that transcends boundaries, making every bite a bridge to new experiences and cherished memories.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating