Chicken A la Plancha

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No fancy cookware required for this chicken a la plancha recipe from chef Meghann Ward – all you’ll need is your trusty cast iron pan and stove-top. Ward also shares her take on romesco, a traditional Spanish sauce that’s usually made with almonds, pine nuts, red peppers, garlic, onions and tomatoes. Her version is nut-free (and green) and generously portioned so you’ll have extra (thankfully) to spread on sandwiches or add to scrambled eggs.


Servings: 4


  • 4 chicken breast (bone in, skin on)
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 4 smaller sized sweet potatoes
  • 4 large radishes
  • 1 cup of grated cotija cheese
  • 4 limes
  • Canola oil
For the green romesco
  • 6 peeled tomatillos
  • 2 green jalapenos
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 6 anchovies (Don’t even THINK about skipping the anchovies!)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 4 sprigs mint
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seed
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seed
  • ¼ teaspoon dill seed
  • 1 cup toasted pepita seeds
  • Pepita oil (if you can find it)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Red wine vinegar


To prep
  1. Marinate your chicken. Throw it into buttermilk over night at the very least.  (Chef's note: If you’re an overachiever, you can add in garlic, herbs, lemon zest, chili flake, etc.  But that is up to you.  Just buttermilk will do the trick and the other ingredients aren’t accounted for in your ingredient list.)
  2. Cook off your sweet potatoes. Bake them on a salt bed in the oven at 300 degrees until they are fork tender.  Potatoes are tricky to reheat so try to time this with your meal.  (Chef's note: At the restaurant we confit them to allow more flexibility timing wise.  However, this is a waste of money at home.  As a point of reference, a large potato takes about 30 minutes.)
  3. Make your green romesco using the directions below. (Chef's note: This is the fun part.  This will make more sauce than you need.  Use it to serve with scrambled eggs or spread on a sandwich.  It’s dope.)
  4. Thinly slice your radishes and hold in cold water.
  5. Grate cotija cheese on a fine grater.
  6. Rinse off your chicken and dry it well on kitchen towels.
  7. Zest the limes with a microplane at the end of your prep.
For the green romesco
  1. Find a heavy bottomed pan. (Cast iron would be cool.)
  2. Cut up your veggies and herbs into large chunks to be able to be put them into a food processor. Do not combine yet.  (Unless you like it really hot, take the seeds out of the jalapenos.)
  3. Heat up your pan to hot, but not smoking. Coat with a layer of canola oil and turn the heat to medium.  Put in your tomatillos and char them.  Add in garlic and cook until golden brown.  Add in the scallions and char them as well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from pan to cool.
  4. Once room temp, spin the charred veggies and anchovies in a food processor until smooth. Add in the cilantro and mint and pulse until chunky-smooth-ish.  Toast, ground and combine the cumin seed, coriander seed and dill seed. Add in a pinch of spices at a time to your taste.  Add in the pepitas and pulse until just crushed into the sauce.  Drizzle in a little pepita oil (if you found it).
  5. Season with salt, pepper and vinegar to taste. (Chef's note: once you add the vinegar, the clock is ticking for this sauce to turn brown.  It won’t affect the flavor, but if you’re perfectionist, just add the vinegar right before you serve it.)
To cook and serve
  1. Season up your chicken on both sides.  Find that same great pan you used before, heat it up, and put in your oil (same as before).  Put in your chicken (skin side down) and turn to low.  Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to do this in a few batches. Get your skin golden brown. Flip it, and baste with butter.  Stick it in a 300 degree oven and cook until mid well (about 20 minutes).
  2. Take the chicken out of the oven and let it rest 7 minutes.  Cut it off the bone and put it over a hefty swipe of the green romesco (room temp is perfect).
  3. Place your hot-out-of-the-oven sweet potato on a tray and pinch it open. Stuff in a teaspoon of butter, as much cotija cheese as you can fit in it, and top it off with the lime zest.
  4. Place the chicken, sauce, and the potato on the plate and shuffle on those thinly sliced radishes.

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