We were delighted to welcome Greg Marchand, owner of Frenchie in both London and Paris, who took a day out of his Gallic kitchens to volunteer with us as a guest chef. He used up our surplus ingredients by creating a traditional Basque chicken dish and kindly shared the recipe so we can recreate it again and again.
For the Chicken Basquaise
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (alternatively use 4 breasts / legs)
5 onions, finely diced
1 head of garlic, peeled and diced
thyme, few sprigs
rosemary, few sprigs
8 peppers, mixed colours and sizes, de-seeded and cut into large chunks
6 tomatoes, cut into eights
salt and pepper
1/2 bottle white wine
1/2 lemon, juice only
small bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 teapoons of paprika or espelette pepper
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
200g rice, washed until water runs clear
300ml chicken stock or water
For the Chicken
- Heat a large heavy-based pot and add 2 tablespoons olive oil until smoking. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear in batches the hot pan until golden all over. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- In the same pot, sweat the diced onions and garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons olive oil on a low heat for 10 minutes until translucent.
- Add the peppers to the pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil, a large pinch of salt and a small cup of water. Cook on a low heat until the peppers are soft – around 15 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan followed by the wine. Stir well, ensuring there is nothing stuck to the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce a little before adding another cup of water and the seared chicken and its juices to the pan.
- Cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, adding more water to the pan if it dries. Taste for final seasoning.
- Remove from the heat, add the juice of half a lemon, chopped parsley and the paprika or espelette pepper.
For the rice
- Slowly sweat the onion and garlic in 75g butter with a pinch of salt on a low heat for 20 minutes.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir with the onions until the edge becomes just transparent.
- Add the stock or water, seasoning to taste before covering the pan with baking paper and then place on the lid to form a tight seal.
- Cook on a low heat until cooked – 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and use a fork to separate the grains, stirring in another 25g butter.
- Spoon the rice into bowls and top with the chicken stew.
In a restaurant kitchen you make the same thing again and again. Here you have to think, be resourceful. We recycle what’s leftover and make it new.
Chef Clio Melvin, Refettorio Felix