Smoked paprika, chilies, and green olives give this Spicy Basque Chicken recipe a bright color and well-rounded flavor. Pair with saffron rice for an easy 30-minute dinner!
This is what I like to call “man-friendly food.”
Why, you ask?
Well, mostly because the husband really likes it. My understanding of all things masculine stems from my experience with him.
He likes Spicy Basque Chicken, therefore Spicy Basque Chicken is masculine.
I took enough philosophy courses to know that there are quite a few things wrong with this logical assessment, but I can’t think very well when I’m hungry and right now there are leftovers in the fridge that are calling my name.
He practically licked the bowl, then cleaned all of the remnants on my plate, too. Sorry feminism, but there seems to be something biologically programmed in me to take pleasure in satisfying his appetite.
I imagine that he feels the same way when I ask him to open a jar of pickles.
Anyway, I came across a recipe for Basque chicken in an old issue of Cooking Light, and adapted it to make it my own. I added onions, garlic, and capers (all necessary, in my opinion), and altered the cooking method so you can use chicken breast halves instead of tenders.
I never buy chicken tenders because they are stupidly expensive and I just don’t see the point. With the money you save you can buy yourself a cappuccino at a little cafe in Paris. You’re welcome.
You definitely don’t want to skip the smoked paprika in this recipe – sweet paprika makes a poor substitute.
What to serve with saffron rice? This Basque recipe answers that question perfectly.
I know that saffron can be expensive (I bought mine at a spice bazaar in Istanbul, so I got a good deal), so if you want to you can add a packet of Goya Sazon instead of the saffron threads. The flavor will be a little different, but it will still be delicious! You can buy it online or grab a box on the spice aisle at your supermarket.
If you like this recipe, please share it with your friends!
Here’s What You’ll Need:
A 12″ or larger lidded skillet (preferably cast iron, like this affordable one from Lodge)
A 3 quart or larger lidded saucepan (I prefer nonstick when making rice)
Here’s the Recipe!
Spicy Basque Chicken with Saffron Rice Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
- 4-6 threads saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts - about 2 large half breasts
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion - sliced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped green olives
- 4 ounces prosciutto - roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes with chilies (juice included)
- Rinse the rice through a mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Place in a 3-quart or larger saucepan along with the saffron, salt, and vegetable broth. Set the heat to medium and let cook until the water has reduced beneath the level of the rice. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit until ready to serve.
- While the rice cooks, slice the two chicken breasts in half length-wise to produce four thin breast pieces. Season both sides of each piece with the smoked paprika and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a 12" or larger skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sliced onion and saute for 3 minutes. Push the onion to one side of the pan and add the chicken pieces. Immediately turn the heat down to medium. Let the chicken cook for 2 minutes, then turn the chicken and add the garlic, olives, prosciutto, capers, and tomatoes.
- Allow the contents to come to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Simmer for 6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and turn the heat back up to medium-high. Cook the sauce for 3 minutes to thicken. Serve the chicken topped with sauce and a side of saffron rice.