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5 from 4 votes

Chicken Piperade

Chicken thighs baked above a bed of garlicky bell peppers. The piperade mixture, which freezes perfectly well, can be made in advance.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French-Spanish
Keyword: bell peppers, chicken, garlic, inexpensive, rustic, tomato paste
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • A large skillet with a lid for the bell pepper ("piperade") mixture
  • A tall, oven-proof baking dish, such as a 5-quart Dutch oven or braising pan with a lid

Ingredients

For the piperade:

  • 2 tablespoons olive (or vegetable) oil
  • 4 large, colorful bell peppers, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and black pepper -- a pinch of each
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

For the chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons olive (or vegetable) oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 4 large or 8 small chicken bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • A splash of dry French vermouth (or dry white wine)
  • 1 (6-ounce) can plain tomato paste
  • A splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Optional garnish: coarsely chopped flat-leaved parsley

Instructions

Make the piperade:

  • Put the peppers, onion and garlic in a large bowl; toss to mix. Tip the oil into a large skillet set over medium-low heat. Add the pepper mixture to the skillet, and dust with the salt, pepper and thyme. Toss with a spatula to insure all ingredients are coated with oil. Cover the skillet, and let the veggies sweat until tender-crisp -- about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Brown the chicken:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the Dutch oven or braising pan over medium heat. Add the oil, swirl the pot to coat the bottom, and then sprinkle the salt and pepper all over the oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin-side down. Let the chicken sit until richly browned -- 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Deglaze the Dutch oven and make the sauce:

  • Tip the vermouth into the hot Dutch oven, and immediately reduce the heat to "low." As the liquid boils, scrape up, with a wooden spatula, any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato paste and vinegar, and stir them together with the spatula.

Assemble and bake:

  • Pour the piperade into the Dutch oven, and toss it about to coat with the tomato paste and vinegar. Off heat, arrange the chicken thighs on top of the piperade. Cover the pot, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Before serving, garnish with the (optional) parsley.