Braised Basque Chicken
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (3 leg quarters and 3 breast quarters work here), skin removed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound Serrano ham, cut into 1/2-in cubes
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1/2-in strips
- 2 medium yellow bell peppers, cored and cut into 1/2-in strips
- 1 28- to 32-oz can chopped tomatoes, with their juice
- 1/2 cup cup pitted picholine or other green olives, for garnish
- 1/2 cup pitted nicoise olives, for garnish
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
1. Sprinkle the chicken with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil over medium-high heat and brown the chicken on all sides, a few pieces at a time, being careful not to crowd the pan. Transfer the browned chicken to the insert of a 5- to 7-qt/4.5- to 6.5-L slow cooker.
2. Add the remaining 2 tbsp oil to the skillet and saute the ham, letting it brown a bit. Transfer to the insert of the slow cooker. Add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers to the skillet, and season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook until the onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the insert of the slow cooker, covering the chicken with the mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours, or on low for 5 to 6 hours, until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Skim off any excess fat on the sauce, taste for seasoning, and add salt or pepper if necessary. Serve the chicken garnished with the green and black olives and parsley.