The Cookbook Challenge No. 12: Spice

I have a new addition to my family.

A new cookbook to be precise.

It's French, and I love it!

Flicking lovingly through my brand new baby I found my dish for this fortnight's theme -


Poulet Basquaise

Cookbook:  Trish's French Kitchen  Author:  Trish Deseine



This dish is thought to have evolved from a dish shepherds carried across the Basque hills in clay pots and became the traditional Sunday lunch.

The most important ingredient being the piment d'Espelette, a distinctive smoky, spicy chilli that will have you hooked. If you can't get this, give smoked paprika a try.


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1-2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil | 1 free-range organic chicken, approx 2kg | 4-5 onions, peeled and quartered | 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped | 1 bay leaf | few sprigs of fresh thyme | 800g tinned whole peeled tomatoes | 250ml (1 cup) dry white wine or water | 2 red and 2 green peppers. sliced | 1 jar pitted green olives | 1 tsp d'Despelette (or smoked paprika) | sea salt and cracked pepper


  1. In a large soup pot warm the olive oil on a medium to high heat, then brown the chicken really well on all sides.
  2. When the chicken is fully browned, add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, tinned tomatoes and wine or water. Cover and bring just to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes.
  3. Add peppers, olives and piment d'Dspelette, then cover and simmer for another 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened a bit.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. If you refrigerate the stew overnight, it will taste even better the next day.

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Such a beautiful, rich, smokey and spicy aroma filled my kitchen when I cooked this.

And the taste was just as good.

I actually thought the capsicum and olives were the hero's of this dish, rather than the chicken (which literally fell of the bone), and I found myself wanting more of the sauce, especially with a chunk of crusty bread dipped into it.

Oh yeah!

To view my fellow challengers, click