ffwd: chicken basquaise
Autumn is here! Fall weather with its crisp mornings and evenings with warm afternoons has always been my favorite. Food cravings change this time of year too. I’m actually tiring of tomatoes and corn and ready for squash and apples. I always think of peppers as a transitional vegetable. While their Mediterranean-ness plant them mentally in summer, they are most plentiful in late summer and early fall. Fortunately for peppers, they complement tomatoes and winter squash equally well.
This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is about as peppery as you can get. Chicken Basquaise is a satisfying stew from the Basque region of France. Peppers, in the form of a silky piperade, star in this dish.
I would say that piperade is to peppers what stewed tomatoes are to tomatoes. First, sweet onions are sautéed until soft. Then a huge pile of peppers are added to the pan to soften as well. I used a combination of dark green, light green, red, and purple peppers. Finally, some diced plum tomatoes, garlic, and herbs are added to round things out. Everything cooks together for the flavors to meld.
For convenience, I made the piperade the day before I made the final dish. When it was dinner time, I browned the chicken thighs, deglazed the pan with white wine, then added the piperade. The stew simmered while I made rice and a salad.
I’m wondering if the piperade would freeze well. With the sauce already prepared, this was a quick meal to prepare. The piperade doesn’t take that long to make, but doing it all in one shot would be impossible on a weeknight.
Chicken basquaise was a hit. It offered wonderful comfort food for the changing weather. The aroma of the peppers was reminiscent of Italian sausage and peppers, and my husband mentioned that, based on the smell, he was expecting bites of sausage in the dish. There’s an idea for next time.
I’ve also set aside some of the piperade to try as Eggs and Piperade for a breakfast this weekend. Can’t wait to try it!
We don’t post the recipes, but consider getting your own copy of the book, Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.
To see the other Doristas’ chicken basquaise, follow their links posted here.