Garlic Chicken With Guasacaca Sauce
Simple to make, versatile in use and complex in flavor, guasacaca sauce is one of the wonderful condiments of Venezuelan cuisine. Creamy from the addition of avocado with a bright and tangy herb and lime base, it makes an evocative pairing for any vegetarian, seafood or meat dish. Here, it accompanies a sheet-pan dinner of roasted chicken and carrots but will do just as well with anything from the grill.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ½cup olive oil
- 3large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 ½pounds carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths (1/2-inch wide)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 ½to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, drumsticks, breasts or a combination, patted dry
- 1avocado, pitted and chopped
- 1jalapeño, stemmed and chopped
- 2tablespoons rice vinegar
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1cup chopped parsley leaves with tender stems
- 1cup chopped cilantro leaves with tender stems
Step 1Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup oil and grate in 2 garlic cloves using a zester. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Lightly season with salt and black pepper and transfer to a sheet pan, reserving the garlic oil in the bowl. Add the chicken to the bowl and coat with the remaining garlic oil. Arrange in a single layer on the sheet pan skin-side up between the carrots.
Step 2Roast until carrots are tender, and chicken is cooked through with crispy skin that’s browned in spots, 35 to 40 minutes.
Step 3While the chicken cooks, in a food processor or blender or using a mortar and pestle, combine the avocado, jalapeño, vinegar, lime zest and juice, remaining garlic clove, half the chopped parsley and cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Purée or pound into a coarse mixture. With the machine running or while mixing with a pestle in a mortar, slowly drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon room temperature water. Purée or stir until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt if necessary. The sauce can be made a few hours in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.
Step 4Scatter the remaining 1/2 cup each parsley and cilantro over the chicken and carrots. Transfer to individual plates along with any pan juices. Spoon a few tablespoons of the guasacaca sauce on the side for dipping. Serve warm with additional sauce on the side.