“Here is a wonderful grilled chicken recipe that will take you on a culinary trip through the Mediterranean.” - Chef Brian Parks
Have a nicely chilled bottle of Naia Verdejo 2005 from Spain handy for this dish.
Grilled Chicken with Eggplant and Leeks
2 lbs chicken breast
1 large eggplant
1 red potato (on the large side)
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
1 cup of romesco (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cups piquillo peppers
¼ cup almonds
1/8 cup scallions
3 garlic cloves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup bread crumbs
½ cup sherry vinegar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Chop almonds in food processor, remove. Add garlic and scallions to processor and chop, remove. Add piquillos to processor and chop. Mix all ingredients in bowl, and then add olive oil and cayenne. Add bread crumbs to tighten mixture. Be careful not to add too much bread crumbs, if mixture gets too thick, add olive oil to loosen.
For the leeks
Clean leek by removing tough tops and save for stock or discard. With remaining leek, cut into workable portions (cut what you have left in half). With flat cut side on the bottom, carefully slice leeks into thin strips. Leeks can be extremely dirty, so soak and rinse strips in a cold pan of water. Pat leeks dry with a towel to remove as much water as possible. Next caramelize leeks in a sauté pan with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and set aside
For the eggplant and tomatoes
Slice eggplant and potato into ½ inch sliced rounds, then season with salt, pepper and toss with olive oil. Grill on a hot grill, turning occasionally to avoid charring. After 8-10 minutes, vegetables should be done; set aside or hold in warm oven.
For the chicken
On a clean work surface, trim the chicken breast of the connective tissue and the flaps of meat called the tender. Lying the breast down, hold your knife parallel to the cutting board and carefully slice down the length of the chicken breast leaving the edge intact creating a fold. Open the breast, rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on hot grill, flip after 5 minutes, then cook until finished; interior temperature should be 165 degrees. Cut into desired portions.
To compose plate
Toss eggplant and potatoes with a squeeze of lemon and fresh cut thyme. Place alternately in circle shape on plate. Add chicken breast, then put a spoonful of romesco on top of chicken. Add a pinch of caramelize leeks. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Spanish Caravan Catering
Many chefs attribute their culinary career to the inspiration of their families, but Brian Parks began his cooking career because he wanted a job that gave him the chance to ski. Brian began in the mountains of Colorado and then spent 8 years in New York City cooking at high profile restaurants, such as the BBQ joint Blue Smoke and Mario Batali’s Spanish-inspired Casa Mono. It was during his years at Casa Mono, working with Chef/Partner Andy Nusser, that he found a love for the flavors of Spain. After leaving Casa Mono, he helmed the stoves as chef at Buceo 95, an Upper West Side tapas and wine bar.
After moving to Seattle with his wife Jenny, Chef Parks most recently was Chef d’Cuisine at Quinn’s Pub on Capitol Hill and is currently the proprietor of Spanish Caravan Catering, a catering company featuring food and cooking styles of the Iberian Peninsula. For more information on Chef Brian Parks and Spanish Caravan Catering, visit www.spanishcaravancatering.com.