Chicken Basquaise with Pilau Rice

A braised chicken recipe typical of the Basque region from our recent guest chef Greg Marchand of Frenchie.

chicken basquaise

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.


4-6 people


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

olive oil

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


Pilau Rice

Butter 100g

1 onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely diced

200g rice, washed until water runs clear

300ml chicken stock or water



For the Chicken

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.  
  6. Remove from the heat, add the juice of half a lemon, chopped parsley and the paprika or espelette pepper.

For the rice

  1. Slowly sweat the onion and garlic in 75g butter with a pinch of salt on a low heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the rice to the pan and stir with the onions until the edge becomes just transparent.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

To serve

  1. 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

Cook’s Notes

  • A braised chicken recipe typical of the Basque region.
  • Buying a whole chicken for this recipe and breaking it down yourself means you can use the carcass to make stock for more meals.


Interested in volunteering for the day in our zero-waste kitchen? Get in touch now!

Guest Chefs