This is my version of chicken cooked with Basque ham (either Bayonne or serrano) and plenty of peppers. It appears in my book The Chile Pepper Bible. I love the hint of heat that the French chile, piment d’Espelette provides.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C)
- 3 lbs (750 g) bone-in skin-on chicken pieces, cut into serving-size pieces
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp (5 mL) piment d'Espelette
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken stock
- 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) diced tomatoes
- 4 oz (125 g) thinly sliced ham (Bayonne or serrano)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1. Brush chicken with about 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil and sprinkle evenly with piment d'Espelette.
- 2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the remaining oil over medium heat. Add chicken, skin side down, in batches, if necessary, and brown lightly on both sides, about 4 minutes a batch. Transfer to serving dish, skin side up. When all of the chicken is browned, transfer baking dish to preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes.
- 3. Meanwhile, add remaining oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic and cook stirring until peppers are softened, about 5 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Add stock and tomatoes, with juice, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- 4. Remove chicken from oven and pour sauce over top. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Arrange ham evenly over top. Return to oven and continue roasting until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes.
- If you are feeling ambitious, roast and peel the peppers before preparing them for this dish. I think it adds to the flavor of the dish, but it's not essential.
- If you are not roasting the peppers, use a vegetable pepper to peel them.
- If you roast the peppers, soften the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes, then stir them in and add the wine. They won't need to be softened in the skillet.
- If you prefer a spicier result, add a bit of minced fresh hot chile, such as finger chile, along with the bell peppers.
- If you can't find Bayonne or serrano ham, substitute prosciutto.
Judith Finlayson http://judithfinlayson.com/