Chicken basquaise with Flageolet
Inspired by Chicken Basquaise – a chicken and pepper stew from the Basque-Pyrenees in southwest France – this one-pan dinner gets the very French addition of Flageolet beans, beloved in this region. The key ingredient that puts the “Basque” in “basquaise” is piment d’espelette, one of the most cherished pantry staples in kitchens across the Basque-Pyrenees. Known for its fruity, red pepper flavor and mild heat, Piment d'Espelette is actually protected by the French government, from where the peppers are grown to how they are dried and powdered. You can also find American-grown versions of this spice under the name espelette powder. And,if you can’t find it, sweet paprika will do in a pinch!
While Primary Beans can be cooked straight from dried, when braising dried beans of any kind, I like to give the legumes an overnight or quick soak. This gives them a head start and primes them to soak up lots of the braising liquid.
–Asha Loupy (@fromheadtotable)
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- ½ lb Primary Beans Flageolet beans
- 2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 5-6)
- 2-½ tsp Diamond Crystal or 1-¾ tsp Morton’s kosher salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 white or yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 poblano or 1 large green bell pepper, finely diced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1-½ cups dry white wine
- 1-½ cups chicken stock
- 1-½ tsp Piment d’Espelette or espelette powder (see headnote)
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 1 head garlic, top ¼ sliced off
Place beans in a large bowl, pick through for stones or other debris, and cover with cold water. Soak overnight. Alternatively, use the quick soak method: After picking through the beans, add them to a large pot and cover with a few inches of water. Bring to a boil, boil for 1 minute, turn off the heat, cover, and allow to sit for 1½-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Season chicken thighs on both sides with 1½ tsp Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp Morton’s kosher salt. Add chicken thighs skin side-down in a large, ovenproof, high-rimmed skillet or Dutch oven and place over medium heat. Cook, undisturbed, until the skin is light golden and some of the fat has rendered, 10-15 minutes. Flip and cook until just starting to brown on the other side, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add olive oil, onion, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, and remaining salt, increase the heat to medium high, and sauté until the vegetables start to soften, 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato paste turns a couple shades darker and starts to separate from the oil, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the white wine, chicken stock, Piment d’Espelette or espelette powder, and bay leaves, if using. Taste, and adjust salt, if necessary.
Drain beans well and stir into the tomato-pepper mixture. Nestle the head of garlic cut side down in the pan, bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Carefully nestle the brown chicken thighs, skin side-up, making sure the skin is above the liquid, and flip the head of garlic so it is cut side-up. Return the pan to the oven, and bake until the beans are cooked through and the chicken is falling off the bone, 1:45 hours to 2:15 hours. The beans should be saucy, but not too brothy. (Check a couple times while baking, if the beans are looking too dry, add ¼ cup of water.)
Let cool for 5 minutes and serve directly out of the pan.
This recipe is part of our Food Memories series.