Poulet basquaise (Basque-style chicken) comes from the French part of the Basque country, in South western France. The Basque country covers 20,000 square kilometres, north and south of the Pyrenees. Hence it expands into both France and Spain, and has been at the heart of a conflict for decades, with some of its inhabitants claiming the independence from both countries. Originally, "basquaise" designated a dish made from vegetables and bread, but these days it usually refers to a rich sauce made from capsicum, onions and tomato.
4 tbsp olive oil (or 40 g butter)
3 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3-4 capsicums (green and red), thinly sliced
1 kg tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 kg chicken, cut into pieces (either chicken breast or the whole chicken)
150 ml white wine
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
120 g ham, chopped (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil or butter in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until golden. Add the capsicums and tomato, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat the remaining oil or butter over high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until golden, then remove from the pan.
Cover and simmer for 35 minutes. Remember to stir and taste regularly, and add the mixed herbs, salt and pepper and ham, if using.
Note: The poulet basquaise can be served with rice. You can also add zucchini and eggplant.