Regional Cooking Part 1: Chicken Basquaise


This Recipe is the first of my Regional Cooking series. Today we start with the South West of France. With this series i’ll show you the different flavours and produce of this beautiful part of France.

Chicken Basquaise is named after the Basque Country, a region that covers some of the border between France and Spain. The Basque are a very proud people, and as a whole, have long sought independence from both France and Spain. They have their own traditions, their own language and, of course, their own specialty dishes. While a simple chicken stew might not seem iconic, if this dish were to be made authentically, the key ingredient would be piment d’Espelette. Espelette peppers are native only to the Espellete region of the Basque Country and therefore only peppers grown there can be referred to as “Espelette” peppers. They are the only pepper designated as Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée.

My Chicken Basquaise is an interpretation of the original. It’s a quick and simple dish so it’s easy for you to make it your own by changing what garnish you put with it, or what vegetables to include or subtract.


  • 5oo g chicken thighs
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 2 red capsicum
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 yellow capsicum
  • 2 brown onions, diced
  • 5 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 1 bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaves, parley stalks)
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 2 can crushed tomato
  • Pimenton (to taste)
  • Provençale herbs



  1. Start by cutting your capsicums in strips or diced, dice the onions and crushed the garlic. Dip the fresh tomato in boiling water for 20 seconds then skin and dice them.
  2. Preheat a casserole dish on medium heat with olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and seal it on all side until golden, then set aside. You’ll need to seal it in 2-3 batches to avoid boiling it!
  3. Add the onions, garlic and bouquet garni in the casserole and cook gently for a few minutes until the onions soften. Add the capsicum and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Put the chicken back in, including the juices, add the white wine, crushed tomato and fresh tomato.
  5. Season with pimenton and Provençale herbs, or if you can find Piment d’Espellette, use it! It is normally available from good specialty food store like Essential ingredients. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes and serve with a Riz pilaf! You can also add chorizo to give it that extra kick!!!

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