Chicken Basquaise is a delicious and savory meal of chicken and confit pepper, onions and tomato, poached in a Basque chili-infused olive oil. It includes first browning the chicken on both sides.
Before you begin, ensure your chicken is thawed and patted completely dry with a paper towel. Wash your hands and sterilize surfaces thoroughly after handling.
To begin, place a large, deep braising pan on the stove, turning on burner heat to medium. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and once the pan reaches temperature, add 2 chicken breasts (or 3-4 thighs). Let it brown 3- 4 minutes on each side, before flipping.
Once browned, you can make your piperade around the chicken in the same pan, or remove the chicken and add it later on (your choice).
Turn down the heat to medium and add the following ingredients. Cook for about 15 minutes, moving the mixture around occasionally to prevent sticking.
1 sweet onion or xl shallot, julienned
2 bell peppers (1 red; 1 green), cored and julienned
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
8-10 whole black peppercorns
1/3 cup olive oil (I use Nuñez de Prado)
When the onions soften, reduce heat to medium-low. Add the remaining ingredients below, cover the pan and continue to cook until the olive oil reaches the color of infused chili (about 15-20 minutes). Remove the cover and reduce, uncovered, for another 10-15 minutes. The consistency should not be too liquidy, but rather the color of infused chili oil. The vegetables will be completely caramelized.
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
lemon juice (from 2 wedges)
healthy splash of dry red wine, optional
1.5 tsp piment d’Espelette*
3-4 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly
1 tsp brown sugar, optional only if too acidic to the taste after cooking
Serve in a shallow soup dish or rimmed plate with a side of crusty baguette or boule (you'll want it to sop up the juicy infused olive oil).
*Substitution: If you don't have piment d'Espelette, use 1 teaspoon smoked paprika. If you don't have smoked paprika, use 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon fresh chili. If you don't have fresh chili, use 1 tsp cayenne or 1.5 tsp aleppo pepper.
N.B. The above-mentioned products or companies are what I actually use in my kitchen, and have personally been happy with their quality and performance.