Pollo Cordón Azul with Romesco and Grilled Asparagus

Pollo Cordón Azul with Romesco:

This recipe came about while trying to decode the amazing Toro Burger from Toro Bravo. Around the same time, I overheard a conversation about doing a Chicken Cordon Bleu on the grill. The end result was a merging of those two ideas.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices of Niman Ranch Jambon Royale (or some really good smoked ham)
4 slices of Pata Cabra goat cheese (also Tomme de Chèvre de Savoie works good, but if you can’t find either – try Manchego)
1 cup of Romesco Sauce
Estilo Azteca Seasoning (I get this pre-made from a local bar-b-que joint, but either Adobo or Tony’s will do just fine).

Fry up the Jambon Royale in some bacon fat to crisp – sort of like bacon. Set aside. Note: Do not used pressed ham. It will not come out right.

Butterfly the Chicken Breasts. Season outside with Estilo Azteca Seasoning. Put a layer of the crispy Jambon Royale inside the breasts and then a slice of the Goat Cheese. Wrap, and use toothpicks to hold together.

Heat grill to 350° ~ 400°. Place top side of the breast down on grill. Cook for 7½ minutes. Flip, and top with another layer of Goat Cheese. Cook for another 7½ minutes. Remove toothpicks before serving.

Plate and top with warm Romesco Sauce. I get mine from Pastaworks, but here’s a recipe for those of you not in the PDX area.

Grilled Asparagus:

1 lb asparagus
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp grated lemon zest
½ tsp paprika (I usually mix ¼ tspof Aleppo pepper and ¼ tps of paprika)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

Wash asparagus and snap off hard ends. Mix the next five ingredients in a cast-iron basting pot. Lay the asparagus on the grill, trying to keep them parallel and as close to each other as possible. Using a basting brush, apply the sauce on generously. When the asparagus start to char, roll them – as best you can – so that the other side will get grilled. Apply more sauce. Cook to desired tenderness. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

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As for what to drink with dinner, I pulled a bottle of the Oak Aged Bretta from Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales out from the cellar.