The older I get, the more I like to keep my cooking simple. Honestly, I like to keep everything simple. So, when I revisited this recipe for chicken basquaise, originally published in 2007, I knew I could streamline the steps without sacrificing any of the flavor. The Espelette pepper lends a muskiness to the chicken; if you haven't got it on your spice rack, substitute mild smoked paprika, Aleppo pepper, or urfa pepper. As good as the chicken is on the day you make it, the dish is that much better the next day. Enjoy this stew hot, served with noodles or rice, or cold. It's a great make-ahead entertaining dish, too.
Basque chicken with bell pepper and tomato
From the pantry, you'll need: olive oil, onions, garlic, canned tomatoes, piment d'Espelette, thyme, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.
4 Tbsp olive oil
10 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (or a mix of thighs, legs, breasts)
4 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
4 green bell peppers, seeds and stems removed, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeds and stems removed, chopped
8 whole canned tomatoes
3 Tbsp piment d'Espelette, or more to taste
Pinch of thyme
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over low-medium heat, and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove, and set aside.
Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, and cook the onions and garlic for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell peppers and tomatoes, (break up the tomatoes a bit with a spoon as you add them to the pan), and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the Espelette pepper and thyme, and mix the sauce well.
Return the chicken to the pan, and spoon some of the sauce over each piece. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. If the sauce gets too dry, add 1/4 cup of water or chicken stock.
Taste, and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
Serve hot, over rice or pasta. Or let cool completely, and refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
More reasons to make room for Espelette pepper on your spice rack:
Grilled vegetables with piment d'Espelette sauce
Slow cooker Basque tuna with potatoes and peppers
Grilled portobello mushroom and goat cheese sandwich
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Julia Child's Basque piperade, from One Perfect Bite
Basque lamb stew, from Simply Recipes
Red lentil soup with lemon, from Food Nouveau
Tandoori chicken, from David Lebovitz
Roasted red pepper and hummus soup, from A Communal Table
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