Our multi-talented Spanish carpenter, who my husband disparagingly refers to as the ‘poet’ (as in Real Men Don’t Do Poetry), gave us several jars of his home-made spicy tomato sauce, which my son then referred to as ‘ketchup in a jar’. Between them, husband and son make quite sure that neither carpenter nor tomato sauce get too up themselves.
Poulet Basquaise should really be made with Espelette pepper, which is a cross between paprika and chilli pepper, and is a speciality of the village of Espelette in the Basque country.
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 chicken thighs and 4 legs
1 tin of peeled tomatoes (or homemade if possible)
1 tin of white beans
4 cloves of garlic
5 mushrooms, sliced
1 bell pepper
1 cup of black olives
sprig of rosemary
1 glass of white wine
seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, paprika, chilli powder or if possible Espelette pepper)
Chop the onions, garlic and mushrooms and add to the olive oil in an oven-proof casserole dish. Cook until golden and then add the chicken pieces, which should also be cooked until golden-brown on both sides. Add the wine, herbs and seasoning and cook for about 2 minutes so that the chicken can absorb the wine. Add the tomatoes and heat until simmering. Lastly add the beans and olives and cook in a medium oven (150°C) until the tomatoes begin to caramalise (just under two hours).
Poulet Basquaise is usually served with sauté potatoes or rice, although I often serve it with polenta and a crisp green salad.