Basque-Style Chicken with Peppers
This recipe is inspired by the Basque region between Spain and France. From late August into the fall when the farmers markets are bursting with many varieties of fresh peppers and is the perfect time to make this for dinner.
Buy an assortment peppers from the farmer’s market; you’ll need a total of 1-1/4 pounds of peppers (error on the side of more peppers). This is even better if you can make it the day before you plan to serve it. The juices from the peppers and the chicken mingle and reduce to create a vibrantly delicious sauce. Gazpacho or salad would be the perfect starter. When the chicken is gone if there are any remaining peppers they are wonderful stirred into scrambled eggs or slathered on bread for a quick lunch.
8 organic free range chicken thighs bone in
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Piment d’Espelette or cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 onions, sliced 1/4" thin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup sherry, white vermouth, or white wine
1/2 green pepper, sliced 1/4" thin
2 yellow peppers, sliced 1/4" thin
2 red peppers, sliced 1/4" thin
3 cloves garlic crushed with a little oil
1-26 ounce can tomatoes, remove seeds and any skins
Bouquet garni (parsley, thyme and bay leaf)
4 ounce piece of Bayonne or Prosciutto ham, cut into lardon (1/4x1/4 x 1-inch pieces)
Chopped parsley for garnish
1. Remove and discard excess skin and fat from the thighs. Season chicken with salt, black pepper and piment d’Espelette. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven and 2 tablespoons in a large sauté pan. Sauté the chicken in batches over high heat in the Dutch oven until golden brown all over.
2. Sauté the onions with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of water, for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add the wine and reduce to two tablespoons. As the chicken browns, remove to a plate.
3. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven, lower the heat, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.
4. Add the sautéed onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, bouquet garni, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon piment d’Espelette, and ham. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
5. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and tender.
6. Discard the bouquet garni. Arrange chicken on a platter and cover with sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with rice or crusty bread.
Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie