The Basque Country is the name given to the home of the Basque people in the western Pyrenees that straddles the border between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast.
This wonderful traditional Basque Pie is great served either hot or cold, definitely a great dish to enjoy during the summer months.
Basque Chicken Pie (serves 6-8)
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 onion finely chopped
200g (8oz) ripe tomatoes
2 garlic cloves peeled
50g (2oz) cooked ham
300g (12oz) diced cooked chicken
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
Pinch of sugar
250ml (1 cup) warm milk
2 packets active yeast (2 x 7grams)
500g (20oz) self-raising flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1 egg yolk beaten
50g (2oz) softened butter
- Begin the pie dough by adding the sugar to the warm milk in a large bowl then sprinkle the yeast into the liquid allowing it to stand for 5 minutes.
- Beat the whole egg into the liquid then gradually add the flour and the butter.
- Once a dough has formed transfer it to a floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).
- Place back in the bowl, cover and allow to double in size.
- Begin the filling while the dough is rising. Remove the cores from the peppers and then cut them into a small dice.
- Chop the tomatoes to about the same size as the peppers.
- In a large deep non-stick frying pan heat the oil then fry the peppers, onions, and garlic until tender.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, chicken and ham and simmer for 5 minutes, they remove from heat and add the salt & pepper to taste.
- Divide the risen dough into 2 halves and roll them out into two 25cm (10 inch) circles, make the circles as large as your baking tray can fit.
- Line the baking tray with baking parchment and place the one circle onto the tray.
- When the filling is cool spread it onto the dough circle leaving 1cm (1/2”) edge.
- Cover with the second circle and seal the edges well.
- Score lightly, brush with the egg yolk and bake for 45 minutes at 205 C gas mark 6 until the pie is golden brown.
Allow the pie to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
I like to serve this pie with mixed leaf salad and new potatoes with olive oil and coriander. After draining the hot cooked potatoes I crush them a little to help marry the flavour of the potatoes with the fresh coriander and a fruity Spanish olive oil.
Kevin Ashton 2007©