Basque Chicken

Basque chicken

Basque chicken, A Table: Recipes for Cooking and Eating the French Way by Rebekah Peppler. Photography by Joann Pai.

À Table: Recipes for Cooking and Eating the French Way

À Table: Recipes for Cooking and Eating the French Way is an alluring, delicious invitation to the French table from Paris-based American food writer and stylist, Rebekah Peppler. It is both a repertoire-building cookbook and a stylish guide that will make readers feel as though they are travelling through France with a close friend.

New York Times contributing writer Rebekah Peppler shares 125 elegant, “new French” recipes that reflect a modern, multicultural French table. With approachable recipes, a conversational tone, and aspirational photography, À Table contains secrets for cooking simple, sophisticated meals and recreating the magic and charm of French life anywhere in the world.

125 ACCESSIBLE RECIPES: Included are classics such as Ratatouille and Crème Brûlée; regional dishes, such as Basque Chicken, Niçoise (for a Crowd), and Alsatian Cheesecake; as well as recipes born of the melding of the cultures and flavours that help define contemporary French eating, from Bigger Bánh Mì and Lamb Tagine to Green Shakshuka.

USEFUL ADVICE: Guidance on shopping, stocking the pantry, and preparing the table, as well as stories on French food culture, make this not just a recipe-driven cookbook but also a chic guide to modern French living.

FOREVER CHIC: French food and the French lifestyle will never go out of style. À Table offers a window into an enviable way of life and is filled with inspiring, useful tips—perfect for Francophiles and anyone who likes to cook and eat good food.

Perfect for:

  • Home cooks looking for accessible recipes, relying less on fancy techniques and more on ease and accessibility.
  • Fans of Rebekah Peppler’s work, including her James Beard Award-nominated book, Apéritif, and regular writing in the New York Times.
  • People of all ages who like to plan unfussy meals with delicious food and minimal prep.

A Table: Recipes for Cooking and Eating the French Way is available at and  


Basque chicken is from exactly where it advertises to be from. Basque country is one of the most spectacular and dramatic regions in France (and Spain), and the food is as vibrant as the landscape. This classic dish is deeply flavoured and just on the right side of spiced, care of the region’s famed chile, piment d’Espelette. Use Bayonne ham (also from Basque country!) if you can find it, prosciutto if you can’t. I make mine with rosé, which isn’t traditional but is delicious and leaves no question as to which wine to serve alongside.

Serves 4 to 6

6 medium plum tomatoes (or one 28-ounce [800 g] can crushed tomatoes)

One 4- to 5-pound [1.8 to 2.3 kg] chicken, cut into eight pieces

Fine sea salt

4 tablespoons [60 ml] extra-virgin olive oil

3 ounces [85 g] Bayonne ham or prosciutto, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

2 medium red bell peppers, sliced into ¼-inch [6 mm] strips

2 medium green bell peppers, sliced into ¼-inch [6 mm] strips

½ cup [120 ml] dry white or rosé wine

2 fresh thyme sprigs 1 bay leaf

1½ teaspoons piment d’Espelette

If using plum tomatoes, cut a small shallow X in the bottom of each tomato. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the tomatoes to the boiling water and blanch until the skin starts to peel at the edges of the cuts, 10 to 20 seconds. Drain and transfer to the ice bath. Once the tomatoes are cooled slightly, use your fingers to peel off the skin and discard. Roughly chop the tomatoes; set aside.

Season the chicken pieces with salt. In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken to the pan, skin-side down (working in batches, if needed). Cook until the skin is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, then transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the ham to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the ham to the plate with the chicken.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the garlic and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the bell peppers and season with salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers start to soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine, reserved chopped tomatoes, the thyme, bay leaf, and piment d’Espelette and lower the heat to a simmer. Return the chicken and ham to the pot and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Cook for 20 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue cooking until the liquid is almost completely reduced, 30 to 40 minutes more. Season with salt and serve warm.

Note: The information found here is from an advance uncorrected proof.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Chronicle Books. 

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