Last Saturday I wanted to make a nice dinner for Kyle so we could have a little date night. With call and busy clinic days, I felt like I hadn’t been giving my poor husband any attention!
Someone on Instagram asked me, “do you ever actually go out on dates?” I had to laugh out loud because it’s so rare that Kyle and I go out to dinner! We both really like cooking and for me, it’s much more fun to make a nice dinner for us to have at home (and then we get left overs!)
I googled, “date night dinners” or something like that, and found this recipe for Chicken Basquaise which looked WAY too good to pass up. Here’s a little description of the dish from the website:
Chicken Basquaise is a dish that defines the simple elegance of French Basque cooking. The peppers, onions, and garlic are cooked until they are melting, then topped with some piment d’Espelette and browned chicken.
Pipérade trumpets the versatility of French Basque cuisine. A simple sauté is enlivened with the local cured pork, Bayonne ham, and a spicy paprika known as piment d’Espelette. It’s great over braised chicken, but you can also heed Julia Child’s advice and use it to top a plain omelet.
The website said that if you couldn’t find Bayonne ham, you could use prosciutto instead. I also didn’t have the special pepper spice, so I used a combination of hot and sweet paprika and cayenne pepper.
You have to cook the tomatoes first, skin them, and peel them, which I’ve never done before.
Then you sauté the peppers, onions, thyme, and parsley.
After browning the prosciutto, you cook the chicken in the same pan… always a good idea!
And finally, you nuzzle the browned chicken into the pot with all the glorious French flavors and let it cook for about 45 minutes.
To go along with the chicken, I made a salad with watercress, blue cheese, apples, and walnuts. I made a simple lemon vinaigrette with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
We soaked up all the glorious flavors in the chicken with crusty french bread.
For dessert, I made a chocolate avocado mousse topped with pistachios and raspberries. I actually used Giada’s recipe here and it was spectacular!
Do you like to cook on date nights?