Between us Nick and I got four cookbooks (if you count the one I gave to him) and a random shuffle turned up “The French Country Table” by Laura Washburn. This is a lovely book, full of gorgeous recipes and wonderful images so evocative of life in France that it always makes me want to pack my bag immediately and head south for the first available ferry.
We have cooked a number of recipes already from the book and I half expected a shuffle of the pages to turn up one that was familiar to us, but instead the pages fell open at a recipe for “Poulet Basquaise”. This is chicken cooked with peppers, onions, ham and tomatoes.
The recipe calls for a whole chicken which you cut up yourself but I used a pack of chicken thighs and legs instead. It also uses whole tomatoes which you should skin an deseed before chopping but I cheated and used a tin of chopped tomatoes.
I must say that it was a delight to cook beautiful bright and cheery peppers on a dismal and grey winter’s day. Having all that colour in the pan was a joy indeed and the kitchen soon smelled heavenly as the chicken cooked.
The recipe was easy to do and the end result was delicious. Yet again I have cooked something really good that I will no doubt make again and again, thanks to Dom and his Random Recipe Challenge.
As suggested in the book, I served it with rice, although I decided to do brown rice, which is a current favourite of the house. I also served some broccoli on the side.
Here’s my version of Poulet Basquaise – the quantities given are for four and I literally halved it for two.
4 chicken thighs or a pack of mixed thighs and legs
2 red onions
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 thick slice of hand cut ham from the bone
½tsp dried chilli flakes
1 large can of chopped tomatoes
2 tblsp olive oil for frying
In a frying pan that has a lid, heat the oil and add the chicken, skin side down. Cook for 5-10 minutes, turning once, until brown. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Peel and slice the onions, deseed and slice the peppers and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook uncovered on a medium heat for 15 minutes or until they are soft.
Cut the ham into strips and add it to the pan with the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for one minute. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up, cover with the tomatoes. Put the lid on and cook on a low heat until the chicken is cooked, about 30-40 minutes.