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Basque Chicken from the Woodfired Oven

This Woodfired Workshop is all about one pot chicken – Basque chicken to be exact with all the flavours and colours of French and Spanish cooking. As we can’t literally travel at the moment, then we may as well travel in our cooking. Without getting too Proustian, food can really bring back happy memories of meals shared with friends so that’s all good in our kitchen at the moment!

Join us on our travels by creating this chicken dish at home – any leftovers can become a rather lovely pie with some bought puff pastry for a superior next day lunch. Check out how David cooks it on our youtube channel here and the recipe is below; there’s quite a lot of prep but once that’s done it’s pretty much chuck it in the pan and let it all get on with itself. Happy cooking!

Basque Chicken from the Woodfired Oven

Ingredients (for 4 happily or for 2 with leftovers)

4 chicken quarters – thigh and legs combined, skin on, bone in

60ml olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 large white onion, peeled and sliced

1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced

2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced

150g cooking chorizo, skinned and chopped

5 large cloves garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced

250g calasparra rice (or arborio rice)

8 sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped

1 heaped tbsp sundried tomato paste

1tsp hot smoked paprika

2 large sprigs fresh thyme

3 fresh bayleaves

350ml chicken stock

150ml dry white wine

2 oranges, peeled and segmented

100g olives, black or greeen, your choice

Oven state, equipment, etc

2-3 Mississippi – hotter for frying the chicken and cooler for cooking the rice

A heat deflector is handy to prevent side scorch and keep the oven tidy

Door mainly on but add if your oven is losing heat

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large, deep, wide pan.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and then add the chicken to the hot oil to brown for 4-5 minutes.
  • Take the chicken out of the pan and put it in a clean dish. Add the chorizo chunks to the hot oil and cook until slightly frazzled (the chorizo, not you!). Take the chorizo out of the pan and keep it with the chicken.
  • Add the onion and peppers to the oil and let them cook gently at the front of the oven for 4-5 minutes until collapsing. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the rice with the sundried tomatoes, herbs, oranges, smoked paprika, tomato paste, white wine, chicken stock, olives and cooked chorizo. Season well and stir all together. Nestle the chicken skin side up on top of the rice mixture.
  • Put the pan in the oven and let the chicken and rice mixture simmer until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the chicken is cooked through (75C plus on a probe thermometer). This took 30 minutes in our oven so check how it’s going after 15 minutes and add a little more water if it’s drying out too quickly. If the chicken is browning too much, cover the pan with some foil or a lid until it’s cooked through. Turn the pan round in the oven after 15 minutes for even cooking.
  • When the chicken and rice are cooked, sprinkle over some orange zest and chopped parsley and put the whole dish on the table for people to help themselves. If your oven is losing heat, put the door on ajar to help keep it up until you’ve finished cooking.

Alternatives

  • Use green or black olives – we like the shrivelled black olives which are full of flavours so use them.
  • Use hot or mild smoked paprika
  • If you don’t want to cook with wine, use apple juice instead – with the orange juice from the segmented oranges which will add a little sharpness.
  • Use just chicken thighs or just chicken drumsticks if you can’t get quarters.
  • If you can’t get calasparra rice (we think we got ours in Spain) then paella rice or risotto rice will be fine.
  • If you have a metal oven, keep a small fire burning with a good bed of embers and the door on but ajar.
  • If you don’t have a woodfired oven, cook the chicken and rice in your regular oven at around 180C. We’d probably put a lid on to make sure it doesn’t dry out too quickly.

Wine suggestions

  • How about a manzanilla sherry to keep the Spanish theme going; not as dry as a fino but a real favourite in this house!
  • If you’d prefer some red wine, how about a tempranillo – fruity and full of flavour
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