Basque Chicken with Sweet Peppers and Tomatoes
- ACTIVE: 20 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 10 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Yves Camdeborde is from the Béarn, the southwestern French region bordering Basque Country, and he grew up eating Basque dishes like this chicken simmered with tomatoes, onions and peppers. Camdeborde updates the recipe, using cherry tomatoes instead of big ones and red onions instead of yellow. He also shortens the usual cooking time so the vegetables keep more of their texture and flavor, plus he sometimes adds potatoes to the dish.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 4 chicken thighs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 jarred piquillo peppers, drained
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup water
- 2 ounces serrano ham or prosciutto, sliced 1/16 inch thick and cut into thin strips
- Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large, deep ovenproof skillet, heat the oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet, skin side down. Cook over moderately high heat until richly browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a large plate, skin side up.
- Add the onion, red and green bell peppers and garlic to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, piquillo peppers and thyme; once the tomatoes are hot, pour in the wine and simmer over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Cover tightly and braise in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Transfer the chicken to a large, shallow serving dish. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables in the skillet to the baking dish and cover with foil to keep warm. Boil the cooking juices over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Add the serrano ham and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Pour the juices over the chicken and vegetables and serve.
The bright flavors and soft tannins of a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo work beautifully with this rustic chicken dish.
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