For the Chicken:
3 carrots, peeled and cut in half
3 stalks celery, cut in half
1 yellow onion, cut in quarters
Whole chicken, 3 & 1/2 - 4 lbs
8 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 bay leaves
Mix of fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary tied in a bunch
1 lemon, cut in quarters
Herbs de Provence
Dry cooking sherry
For the Romesco:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 thick slice of crusty bread, torn into bits
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup hazelnuts, skinned
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 whole roasted red peppers, skinned and deseeded
2 very ripe tomatoes, deseeded or 1, 15-oz. can of peeled whole tomatoes
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
1/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1. In the bowl of a slow cooker, add the carrots, celery and onion. Wash and dry the chicken inside and out and liberally salt and pepper the inside cavity of the bird. To the cavity add the garlic, bay leaves, herb bouquet and lemon wedges. Tie the legs together and place the chicken on top of the aromatic vegetables. Season the outside of the chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, and herbs de provence. Pour in just enough chicken stock and sherry to moisten the vegetables and steam the chicken, about 2-3 inches on the bottom of the pot. Cover and cook on the low setting until the chicken is very tender and the legs are loose in their sockets, around 6 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to broil.
3. Once the chicken is done, carefully lift the bird from the bottom and place on a baking sheet. Discard the contents from inside the cavity. Scoop out the carrots, celery and onion and place on a platter. Strain the cooking liquid and set aside. At this time, start the rice.
4. Rinse the rice in a bowl until the water runs clear, about 3 cycles of rinsing and draining. Put the rice with the reserved chicken stock from the slow cooker in a pot so that the liquid comes just up to the first knuckle on your index finger. Add store bought stock if needed. Add the garlic, bay leaves, tomato paste and saffron to the pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the rice sit in the pot with the lid on for another 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff. While the rice is cooking, make the romesco.
5. In a saute pan over medium heat, add the ancho peppers. Toast the chilis until they are fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with hot water. Let steep for 10 minutes. In the meantime, add the olive oil, bread and nuts to the saute pan. Cook until everything is golden brown and toasted, being very careful not to burn the nuts. Add the garlic to the pan for the final 2 minutes of cooking. Pour the entire contents of the saute pan into the bowl of a food processor. Add the red peppers, tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Drain the ancho peppers and add them to the bowl, discarding the stem. Process until the mix becomes a smooth paste. Add more olive oil if the romesco is too thick. Add the chopped parsley and pulse a few more times. Taste and season again if necessary.
6. To finish the chicken, place it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes just to crisp the skin. Serve the bird over the braised vegetables along with the rice and romesco sauce on the side.