Basque-Style Chicken simmered in an easy sauce with roasted chili peppers, ham, tomatoes, garlic, and olives. Makes a warming, hearty dinner on a chilly night.
- 3 mild chili peppers (Anaheim, poblanos, Fresno, or another variety)
- Olive oil, for sprinkling
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 pound (one thick piece) baked ham, cut into matchsticks
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño or other small hot chili pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 Roast the chiles: Turn on the broiler and set a rack about 5 inches from the broiler element. Brush the chiles with enough oil to lightly coat. Broil for 5 minutes, turning several times, or until they are charred. (Alternatively, roast the chiles on the open flame of a gas stovetop.)
Transfer to a bowl, cover with a plate to help steam and soften the skins, and set aside for 5 minutes.
2 Peel the chiles: Carefully pull the charred skin of the chili by hand. Cut the chile open, remove and discard the seeds, and chop coarsely.
3 Brown the chicken: Trim away the excess fat from the thighs. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
In a large deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add half of thighs, skin side down. Cook for 4 minutes, or until golden on the undersides. Turn and brown the other sides for 3 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a bowl. Brown the remaining thighs in the same way. Transfer the thighs to the bowl.
4 Make the sauce: Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan. Add the onion, ham, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until the onions have started to soften. Add the roasted chiles and jalapeño. Continue cooking, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and stock. Use a wooden spatula to scrape up the dark glaze from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and partially cover. Simmer 5 minutes.
5 Cook the chicken: Return all the chicken to the pan, skin side up, along with any juices in the bowl. It’s ok if the thighs are a tight fit. Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken. Return to a boil, lower the heat, and partially cover.
Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, opaque, and registers 165°F with a digital thermometer.
6 Finish and serve: Taste the sauce for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if you like. Sprinkle the dish with the chopped olives and parsley. Serve hot.