Friday, November 18, 2016

Week 43 - French

I wanted to make something healthy for the French challenge, something without cream or tons of butter or cheese, but I didn't want to make ratatouille, because A already makes a great one and I wanted to do something new. I had a lot of trouble finding a recipe that inspired me, and searched for a long time, until I stumbled on a recipe on Marmiton for poulet basquaise, chicken made in French Basque country style.

The recipe was in French, so I first translated it and then adapted it for our ingredients/pantry. The ingredients I used were:

- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into smaller pieces ($3)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided ($0.40)
- 1 onion, chopped ($0.50)
- 1 large spoonful of minced garlic ($0.10)
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced ($0.89)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced ($0.99)
- 1 can diced tomatoes ($0.75)
- salt and pepper ($0.05)
- 3/4 cup white wine ($0.50)
- 1 bay leaf ($0.05)
- dried thyme ($0.10)
- dried parsley ($0.05)

The total for the recipe was about $7.38, and we ate it on top of some pearl barley, which probably added another dollar or so to the total. Pretty good for dinner for two.

The steps for making our version of the poulet basquaise were:

- prep: slice peppers, chop onion, slice chicken (although I did that later because we didn't have enough room)
- in a large pot, heat olive oil, add peppers, onion, garlic, and cook until starting to soften
- add tomatoes, salt, and pepper
- cover and cook for 20 minutes (supposed to be over low heat but I forgot and did it over medium, and it seemed fine)
- while vegetables are cooking, heat olive oil in frying pan, add chicken, salt, and pepper
- brown chicken in pan
- add chicken to vegetable mixture along with bay leaf, thyme, parsley, and wine
- cover and cook over low heat for 35 minutes, submerging chicken in the vegetable mixture and wine as much as possible
- serve over pearl barley

We've never had poulet basquaise before, so we have no idea if what we made was close or not. It reminded me a lot of the chicken cacciatore we made in a previous challenge, but without the basil flavor. It wasn't really what people usually think of when they hear French food, but I'm going to believe the French site with recipes when they say it's French and Basque. However authentic our version was in the end, at least it achieved my goals of something French, healthy, and tasty. 

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