Friday, January 12, 2018

Basque Chicken : A lesser known gem of French gastronomy.

This time let me take you on a culinary voyage to a lesser known, but vivid culture of France (and Spain), down south on the Atlantic coast, surrounded by the Pyrenees; the Basque. The Basque people have historically lived in the region around the borders of France and Spain and present day Basque population is distributed in the Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country and Navarre in Spain and the Northern Basque Country in France. The Basque culture is quite unique and though has evolved to dissimilate into the surrounding cultures of France and Spain, it still guards some of its typical features, mainly the language and the culinary specialties. One such gastronomical delight is the Poulet Basquaise (Basque Chicken) which originated from the French part of the Basque Country. 

Poulet Basquaise is like most other specialties from Basque country is slightly tangy and extremely vivid with its flavors. 

The primary touch in the bouquet of flavors comes from a special chili pepper from the region called the Piment d’Espelette which is grown around the namesake town of Espelette in French Basque Country. The chili pepper originated in Central and South America and was introduced to France in the 16th century. The pepper now has a geographic protection and certification (AOC and AOP) and must necessarily be grown by the 160 harvesters of the French Basque country. The pepper is mildly hot but has a characteristic savor. At a price of roughly 12.5€ per 100 grams ($68/pound), the AOC certified spice is generally expensive. I used the AOC Piment d’Espelette however Non AOC ones can be found, especially in the USA where it is grown in California.

Another important ingredient is the white wine in which the chicken is simmered. For this dish you must use a dry white wine. I used a wine from the region around the French Basque country, called the Jurançon however you can use your own type but make sure it is dry with an acidic flavor. The Jurançon sec (dry in French) has 13% alcohol content and a citrus note. 

Ingredients

Chicken (with bones) : 550 grams
Dry White Wine : 1 cup
Onion : 1 large
Garlic : 2 cloves
Bell Peppers : 2 (1 red and 1 green)
Tomatoes: 3
Fresh Laurel Leaves: 5
Fresh Rosemary: 3 sprigs
Fresh Thyme : 3 sprigs
Piment d’Espelette : 2 teaspoon
Tomato Puree: 1/3 cup
Olive Oil : 2 tablespoon

Procedures

Julienne the bell peppers. Split the green chili into half, deseed it and then julienne it.

Chop the onions and garlics.

Roughly chop the tomatoes.

Take the olive oil in a pan and add the onions. Turn the heat to medium.

Sauté the onions until it becomes translucent and changes color slightly. Then add the chopped garlic and sauté.

Place the chickens in the pan.

Season with salt.

After about 3 minutes when one side of the chicken is slightly brown, change the sides.

Season again with salt.

After about 2 more minutes add the wine. The chicken should be partially submerged in the wine.

Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Add the bell peppers and green chili.

Add the tomatoes.

Add the fresh laurel leaves.

Add the fresh rosemary and thyme.

Season with salt.

Add the piment d’espelette and stir well.

Add the tomato puree.

Stir the gravy. Be careful not to tear the skin of the chicken.

Season with a bit of piment d’espelette.

Cover and cook in medium heat for 20-25 minutes. When the chicken is done it should look like this.

To check if it is done, turn a chicken piece and prick with a fork. 

The Poulet Basquaise goes well with rice. You can use the same dry white wine to accompany it. 





  
Printable Recipe


Basque Chicken

Calories per serving: 550 kcal

The Basque Country occupies a large portion of north eastern spain and a little strech of south western France. Poulet Basquaise (Basque Chicken) is a popular dish that originated from the French part of Basque country and is made using the emblematic chili from the region, the piment d'espelette.

Ingredients:
  • Chicken (with bones) : 550 grams
  • Dry White Wine : 1 cup
  • Onion : 1 large
  • Garlic : 2 cloves
  • Bell Peppers : 2
  • Tomatoes: 3
  • Fresh Laurel Leaves: 5
  • Fresh Rosemary: 3 sprigs
  • Fresh Thyme : 3 sprigs
  • Piment d’Espelette : 2 teaspoon
  • Tomato Puree: 1/3 cup
  • Olive Oil : 2 tablespoon
Instructions:
  1. Julienne the bell peppers. Split the green chili into half, deseed it and then julienne it. Chop the onions and garlics. Roughly chop the tomatoes.
  2. Take the olive oil in a pan and add the onions. Turn the heat to medium.
  3. Sauté the onions until it becomes translucent and changes color slightly. Then add the chopped garlic and sauté.
  4. Place the chickens in the pan. Season with salt.
  5. After about 3 minutes when one side of the chicken is slightly brown, change the sides. Season again with salt.
  6. After about 2 more minutes add the wine. The chicken should be partially submerged in the wine.
  7. Let it simmer of 5-7 minutes.
  8. Add the bell peppers, green chili, tomatoes, the fresh laurel leaves, the fresh rosemary and thyme.
  9. Season with salt. Add the piment d’espelette and stir well.
  10. Add the tomato puree. Stir well.
  11. Season with a bit of piment d’espelette.
  12. Cover and cook in medium heat for 20-25 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. My mum was able to create White chicken recipe a labor-intensive recipe to be certain. This classic dish is a fancy form of creamed chicken. You may create a rapid variation with canned soup, however, it tastes like fried soup, also can be high in salt. The single way to get the creamy relaxation I desired would be to adapt the white chicken cream recipe.Try this white chicken recipe, this is quite easy to make at your home kitchen.

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