Our Sunday Suppers are still going strong, some have been a bit more casual due to warm temperatures or busy schedules but delicious just the same. This past week I made Poulet Basquaise with Butter Rice, the flavors were fresh and it was the perfect meal for a warm Sunday evening. The main spice that is used in this dish is called Espelette and can be found at specialty shops or online. If you can’t find it you can substitute any hot chili powder or fresh hot chilies which I actually did this past Sunday because of garden is overflowing with peppers at the moment.
Espelette chili powder is a spice you’ll find all over the Basque region in both France and Spain. It is not a super spicy pepper, the heat is actually quite subtle. This regional pepper has been grown in the village of Espelette (in the foothills of the Pyrenées Atlantiques) since the 1500s and by the late 1700s the pepper was heavily influencing the cuisine of the area. It has even been granted an AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) by the French government which means that to carry the name of Piment d’Espelette it must be grown within one of the 10 listed villages in the valley and left to sun dry for a least 15 days.
The peppers are harvested from mid-August onwards and are hand picked and sorted and then threaded onto long strings and left to dry naturally in the sun. If you visit the area you will see strings of peppers throughout the villages. The pepper is used at any stage of the drying process in different ways – fresh in cooking, as a paste or dried as a powder. The more you know 🙂
adapted from Paris Picnic Club
- 3 lbs of bone in chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons Espelette pepper ( or hot chili pepper)
- 28 oz can whole, peeled canned tomatoes, chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
- Salt and pepper your chicken thighs on both sides. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of Espelette pepper.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan, cook chicken skin down to start for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and tent with foil.
- Add more oil only if necessary. Cook the onions and garlic, stir and scrape up any leftover browned pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add in your sliced peppers and remaining Espelette pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes or until soft.
- Stir in tomatoes and bay leaves, bring to a bubble and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Place the chicken back into the pan, kind of nestle the peices in and coat with the veggie mixture. Scatter the olives.
- Turn the heat to low and cover, cook for 20-25 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups Basmati rice (or another long grain rice, do not rinse!)
- 2 1/4 cups of chicken stock
- parchment paper
Salt and Pepper, fresh chopped parsley
- Cut a circle of parchment paper that will fit your pan. Make a small hole in the middle.
- Heat a medium sized sauce pan with the olive oil and butter. Stir in the chopped onions and cook until soft.
- Add the rice to the pan, stir constantly to coat. It should start to turn translucent and shiny.
- Pour in the chicken stock, add a bit of salt and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and place the parchment paper on top of the rice.
- Cover and turn heat to low, cook 12-15 minutes.
To serve a place rice on a platter or bowl, top with the Poulet Basquaise and sprinkle with parsley. It’s a very pretty dish. Or just scoop individual servings on a plate, you do you.
I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we do! Let me know some of your favorite Sunday suppers that you make at home, I’m always looking for ideas 🙂