Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Piment d'Espelette

I just had to!
I was picking up ingredients, that I needed, in one of my stops in NYC, when again,
a small bottle of this "chef's secret weapon" caught my eye, at $110 a pound, I purchased only 20 grams!
Piment d'Espelette, a sweet-hot pepper, produced in only ten small villages in France.
During the last weekend in October, thousands of people will crowd into the town of Espelette, in the Basque region of southwest France, for The Celebration of Peppers, honoring the area's most famous agricultural product: Piment d'Espelette.  

I decided tonight to try my hand at this Basque-Region Recipe:

1/2 cup olive oil
4 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 green bell peppers, seeds and stems removed, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeds and stems removed, chopped
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 Tbsp piment d'Espelette, or more to taste (substitute hot paprika)
Pinch of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 chicken, cut up, or equivalent chicken parts (2 breasts, cut in half; 4 thighs; 2 legs), skin on, bone in
(I have been purchasing Kosher chicken from a butcher, much better !!)
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the onions and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell peppers and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and Espelette powder and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme, salt, and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Brown the chicken in the oil until golden, turning often. Pour the pepper mixture over the chicken, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 30-40 minutes. No need to add more salt to already salted Kosher chicken.
I am serving over Basmati Rice. Serves 6

I wish you could smell this dish simmering on my stove as I write this!!!!!!
Sipping on a glass of 2006 Clos Du Pape, Graves


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