Today I’m thrilled to share this comforting dish and guest post from my dear friend, Alta, from Tasty Eats at Home. Alta and I live pretty close together and I’ve had the opportunity to eat her food. It’s beyond good! Enjoy this post and make sure to stop by her blog. It’s a favorite of mine.
Hello! I am honored to be sharing here at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free while the Green family spends quality time with their new little bundle of joy. They need all of the time together that they can get (and all the sleep they can manage to squeeze in!).
Today I’ll be sharing a one-pot meal that just reminds me so much of Amy’s style of cooking – fresh, full of flavor, and not overly complicated. It’s one of those recipes that take a bit of time from start to finish, but much of that time isn’t spent actively cooking, and it all takes place in a single pot, so it’s pretty fuss-free. But even more than that, it’s a rustic, comforting dish that warms your heart and your belly.
I am no expert on Basque cuisine. I understand that it’s deep in French and Spanish influence, with lots of Mediterranean flavors, often including tomatoes, peppers, and seafood. But what I picked up on was that the traditional Basque cuisine was humble “country” food, prepared with fresh, local ingredients, and without a lot of fancy flair. I can imagine a pot of this chicken basquaise simmering away in a kitchen somewhere near the coast of Spain in a modest country home, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, filling the house with the warm perfume of herbs and chicken. It definitely filled my house with lovely aromas, and was at home in our kitchen as it might be in Spain or France.
This dish does call for a few specialty ingredients – Spanish chorizo (which is a cured sausage, not the fresh, crumbly Mexican chorizo) and sherry vinegar – but they’re relatively easy to find in well-stocked groceries or specialty shops. If you must, you could potentially substitute pancetta for the chorizo, and red wine vinegar for the sherry vinegar, although I haven’t tried it myself. I imagine the flavors would still be lovely either way. I do think it’s worth the effort to seek out the chorizo and sherry vinegar, however. The sherry vinegar is a particularly lovely ingredient, and it lasts a long time in your pantry. I’ve used it in a lot of braised dishes and it really brightens the flavor.
These one-pot meals need to make a more regular appearance in all of our kitchens, mine included. Sometimes, it’s nice to simplify, and there’s just something about a dish such as this that becomes more than the sum of its parts – when flavors mingle, get a chance to know one another, and really marry. Dishes like this are the soul of a kitchen. It’s time to allow that soul to shine!
A braised chicken recipe rich with Mediterranean flavors.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 whole chicken cut into parts (or 3 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 large red onion, sliced
- 4 bell peppers (various colors), sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven at medium-high heat. Pat chicken dry and season chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and paprika. Brown chicken pieces (do so in batches if needed – don’t overcrowd the chicken or it won’t brown properly) 3-4 minutes each side. Remove and set chicken aside on a plate, leaving as much oil in the pot as possible.
- Add the onions and bell peppers to the pot. Sauté until they start to soften; about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and chorizo and sauté for another minute. Add the bay leaf, herbs de Provence, sherry vinegar, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and place chicken pieces, skin side up, on top of the peppers in a single layer.
- Place in the oven on the center rack, uncovered. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve on top of steamed rice, buttered gluten-free noodles, new potatoes, or even spaghetti squash, garnished with parsley.
Alta Mantsch is the author of Tasty Eats At Home, a food blog dedicated to tasty gluten and dairy-free recipes, foods, and living, and is a Community Leader at the Udi’s Gluten Free Living Community Forum.