Now, this dish is a regional favourite of mine and pretty popular in our house. I am always surprised at how tasty it is given the few basic ingredients it is made from.
In keeping true to the Basque tradition I have made this tonight using Piment d’Espelette. This is a hot chilli pepper grown only in 10 small villages in the Basque region of France. It is a specialty ingredient, and its restricted growing area has earned it AOC protection.
The Basque region is the southern area of France that boarders with Spain along the Pyrenees mountain range and the Bay of Biscay. The cooking style here is heavily influenced by Spanish cuisine and this simple chicken casserole is no exception, with its subtle heat from the Piment d’Espelette. Overall, food in the Basque region is a bit spicier than that found in the rest of France, and contributes its own unique soul to the gastronomic tapestry that is France.
The one thing that still holds true in the Basque region is a focus on fresh, quality ingredients. treated simply and cooked with respect. Stick to this and the recipe tonight will deliver flavour in spades. I hope you enjoy it!