Friday, June 13, 2008

heading back to basque country

Well, here I go again...Gerald's using the rest of his air miles to fly his wonderful mom-in-law to Basque Country next week. Yes, if you research my blog, you'll see it's my third trip in less than a year. Woo hoo!

Gerald leaves on the 26th of the month to fly the 84 + Basque students to the US for their Summer in the USA experience. He comes here for the month and I get to go there for the month and parteeee (sorta) with Jenni and the girls. Thanks to my hubs for blessing my trip.

As always, I am excited to go back to experience life in Basque Country. In thinking about some of the yum food, I found this blog today that posted a recipe for Chicken Basque Style. Looks amazing!

Poulet Sauté Basquaise : Chicken Basque Style
Serves: 6
2,25 kg chicken [5 #] cut neatly in 8 pieces (8 if you keep the little wings - I did)
pepper, white, freshly ground
olive oil
1 T butter (helps the browning apparently)
2 onions, medium, julienne [fine slices]
6 green peppers, large, julienne (½ kg [¼ #]) (a length similar to the onions please)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 C stock, approx
¼ kg tomatoes [3 big ones] peeled, seeded, brunoise [diced] (I used a can due to the current tomato/salmonella scare)
1 bouquet garnis [herb packet] (celery, thyme, parsley, bayleaf, whole peppercorns)
150 gr very good ham, dry cured, slices [5 oz]

If you have a whole chicken… cut it up; salt & pepper the pieces
Oil into a pan, medium high; fry pieces really well - more than you usually do. You want these good and brown. Fry the larger pieces longer so they'll be pre-cooked more
Crush the garlic
Devein, deseed and julienne the green peppers
Julienne, very finely, the onions
Remove browned chicken from the pan; put in the veggies & garlic, stir
Maybe add some oil if there doesn't seem to be enough chicken fat
Cover, cook on medium-low until they're soft but not browned, stirring occasionally
Add back the chicken pieces and their juices
Add tomatoes, bouquet garnis and stock (to just cover)
Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan and simmer until done/tender (about a half hour or, perhaps, 30 minutes)
Remove chicken again and, separately, pretty much all the vegetables. Toss the bouquet garnish out.
Meanwhile, a little oil into a pan and fry the slices of ham slightly (this is not bacon we're talking about)
Reduce the chicken cooking liquid until it's saucey; coating the back of a spoon
Place the ham slices neatly on a plate (around the edge, maybe), arrange the vegetables inside that, top with the chicken, and pour sauce over the whole lot

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