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For our second Dish in a dish recipe, I had the desire to introduce you to a traditional dish of the Basque country in Southern France.
The recipe was given by my grandmother who would typically prepare that on Sundays for large tables as the procedure allowed her to sit with us instead of being in the kitchen. My grandparents lived in many regions of France because my grandfather was a government employee and was transferred often. My grandmother who came from a very humble family had to learn to cook and host dinners for my grandfather’s social and professional life and therefore learned in each region from women who were experts in the traditions. I was lucky to inherit those recipes.
West of the Languedoc region who gave us the Cassoulet, I am now featuring a Chicken Basquaise from a region closer to Spain among the heights of the Pyrénées mountains and the shores of the Atlantic ocean. Inside the lands are raised ancient porc breeds which are used for many charcuterie preparations and are grown a large variety of vegetables including green bell peppers and little spicy peppers from the village of Espelette.
Quite naturally this dish was born, highlighting whether the heritage chickens of the land or the tuna from the ocean with a combination of Bayonne ham, peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
To accompany the dish rice is commonly served. A round rice from Camargue or Italy will give you a beautiful texture and a delicate flavor, cooked “Pilaff” with olive oil, onions, and chicken broth.
The vessel I chose for serving it in the restaurant serves the purpose of elegance on a table and function in the cooking of the dish. It is made by the Marumitsu pottery in Seto Japan by a local artisan who always has in mind the idea that design can serve a purpose. The traditions of France and Japan are brought together here through our crafts and common care for beauty and food.
Recipe for 4 people
Note from the chef:
I recommend that you choose produce and meat that is as local as can be. It is what will make your dish delicious and special, it’s a making a political decision about supporting farms around you and reducing your carbon print and finally because it’s what French cuisine is about.
You can serve the chicken in the Marumitsu pot and the rice on the side or spread the rice and chicken in 2 Marumitsu pots.
1pce 4lb Heritage chicken
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 pinch espelette pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
8.5 fl oz (25cl) White wine (Irrouleguy is the wine from Pays Basque but a delicate Riesling from the Finger lakes would be a great match too)
0.4oz (12g) garlic cloves
0.85lb (400g) onions
1.1lb (500g) tomatoes on the vine
1.6lb (700g) green peppers
0.2lb (90g) scraps of Bayonne ham or your local farmer’s charcuterie
2 branches of thyme
Fine sea salt, freshly cracked white pepper
4 thin slices of Bayonne ham or your local dry ham
Rice Pilaff for 4
Note: the Marumitsu pot is a perfect vessel to cook the rice
35g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pce (80g )small onion
200g (1 cup ) round rice
1 2/3 cups (400ml) chicken broth
1 bouquet garni ( 1 thyme sprig, 1 leaf leek (thick green part), a bay leaf, 4 parsley stems)
Fine sea salt and freshly cracked white pepper