Basque Chicken with Spicy Piperade Sauce

Basque roasted chicken | NY Food Journal
Spicy, sweet, and savory Basque roasted chicken

After our trip through the Basque country, we’ve been wanting to bring some of the flavors we enjoyed there to our kitchen back in New York. This dish takes inspiration from a recipe we found in Gerald Hirigoyen’s excellent Basque-influenced cookbook, Pintxos.

Some dark brown sugar and sherry vinegar are added to our already addictive spicy Basque Piperade for quite possibly the best roast chicken recipe we know. The sauce hits all the right notes—spicy, sweet, and tangy—with a glorious dark red color. What’s even better is that the dish is, essentially, just a quick-marinated roasted chicken dish that can easily be made on a weeknight (especially if you already have a batch of our piperade in the fridge). For extra crispiness, try making this dish in a cast iron pan. Or in summer time, throw the chicken right on the grill.

Try our other piperade recipes too:

Spicy Basque chicken, the BEST roasted chicken recipe | NY Food Journal
Basque Chicken with Spicy Piperade Sauce

Basque Chicken with Spicy Piperade Sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Basque
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Michael Herman


  • 6 pieces skin-on chicken thighs and legs
  • 2 TB vegetable oil
  • 2 TB dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 heaping cup piperade
  • 2 teaspoons or more Espelette pepper or large pinch red pepper flakes
  • Flat-leaf parsley for garnish


  1. Preheat the broiler, setting a rack about 4 or 5 inches from the flame (optional - for crisping the chicken if you'd like at the end).
  2. Rub all sides of the chicken with plenty of salt and fresh pepper. Finely dice the piperade, or puree it in a blender or food processor.
  3. Heat a large cast iron or steel pan over high heat until hot, at least 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add oil, and when it begins to shimmer (almost immediately), carefully add the chicken, skin side down. Do not overcrowd the chicken; cook in batches of necessary. Cook until skin browns, about 3 or 4 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken to the other side with tongs and cook for an additional 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer chicken to a plate and discard the oil.
  5. Return the pan to medium high heat and add the brown sugar, whisking in the pan until it melts. Whisk in the sherry vinegar and heat for a minute or two, until it has thickened and reduced a bit.
  6. Stir in the piperade and the espelette pepper or red pepper flakes. Return the chicken to the pan, cover, decrease the heat to medium-low, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. For extra crispiness, transfer the chicken, skin side up, to a broiling pan and broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the skin is crisp.
  8. Spoon some sauce on several plates and top with one or two pieces of chicken then more sauce. Garnish with parsley.
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