Michel Roux Jr is one of the best-known French chefs. In his new book, The French Revolution, Michel revisits the classic dishes from his Gallic heritage but with a modern approach – adapting his favourite recipes to suit home cooks today who are looking for light, healthy and easy-to-make options
Poulet Basquaise Basque-Style Chicken
This is a really good simple supper – everything you need in one pot. I like to make it with chicken legs, as they are more flavourful than breast and less likely to be dry. Espelette chillies are grown in the Basque region in southwest France and have a beautifully mild, fragrant taste that is perfect for this dish. If you can’t find any, just use other chillies to taste. This is a dish that’s even better when made in advance and then reheated. Serves 4
12 new potatoes, scrubbed
4 chicken legs
1 tbsp smoked paprika
4 tbsp olive oil
2 red, green or yellow peppers, halved and seeded
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
200ml white wine
1 tbsp piment d’espelette or chilli flakes
4 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the potatoes in half, put them in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook them for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Joint the chicken legs into thighs and drumsticks – or ask your butcher to do this for you. Season them with salt and smoked paprika. Heat the oil in an ovenproof pan or a flameproof casserole dish and fry the chicken pieces until golden brown on both sides. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.
Slice the peppers into long strips and fry them in the same pan until tender, then add the onions, garlic and parboiled potatoes. Cook them over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6. Tie the bay leaves and thyme sprigs together and add them to the pan along with the wine and piment d’espelette or chilli flakes. Add extra chilli if you like your food really spicy.
Add the tomatoes, then put the chicken and any juices back into the pan and stir gently.
Put a lid on the pan or cover it tightly with foil and place it in the oven for 30 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear.
Check the seasoning, then serve or set aside to enjoy later.
Extracted from The French Revolution by Michel Roux Jr (Seven Dials), out now in hardback and eBook, priced £25.Photography by Cristian Barnett
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