Poulet à la Basquaise


  • 2 kg (4 lbs) organic or free-range chicken, jointed
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour salt
  • pepper
  • piment d’Espelette – see recipe
  • olive oil, chicken fat or butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 300 mls (½ pint) dry white wine
  • 3 or 4 sweet red peppers
  • 1 sweet green pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50 g (2 oz) Bayonne or other cured ham, diced or shredded


Dust the chicken joints with the flour, season with the salt, pepper and piment d’Espelette (the small dried peppers from Espelette in the Basque country), for which you can, if necessary, substitute a mildly piquant paprika or pimento. Heat a little fat in a casserole, gently fry the onions, then brown the chicken all over. Pour on the wine, bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for an hour or so.

Meanwhile, quarter, seed, and roast or grill the peppers. Skin them, and cut into strips. Add to the casserole, together with the bay leaf and ham, and continue cooking until the chicken is tender. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Rice, cooked in the oven, is an excellent accompaniment to this well-sauced dish.