Poulet Basquaise


To make his exceptional quick-braised chicken, Anthony Bourdain seasons the bird with cayenne and cooks it in white wine with plenty of onions and peppers.



  • 1 whole chicken, about 4 lb, cut into 8 pieces

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper or piment d’Espelètte

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into fine julienne

  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into fine julienne

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 16 ounces canned Italian plum tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cube chicken bouillon or 1/2 cup light chicken stock or broth (See Note)

  • 3 sprigs of flat parsley, finely chopped

  • Rice pilaf


  1. Season the chicken all over with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Heat the large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the butter. When the butter has foamed and subsided, add the chicken, skin side down, and brown on that side only. Remove the chicken and set aside on the plate. Add the peppers and onion to the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the wine, scraping, scraping—as always—to get the good stuff up. Cook until the wine is reduced by half, then add the water and the bouillon. Return the chicken to the pot, making sure to add all the juice on the plate. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken to the platter. Crank up the heat to high and reduce the sauce for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with rice pilaf.


Bourdain says this is one dish that can handle a bouillon cube. Equipment needed: large pot with cover, plate, wooden spoon, serving platter.

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