Deep Sigh (FFwD: Chicken Basquaise)

The thing I love about French Fridays with Dorie is that it makes me try new things.

The think I don't love about French Fridays with Dorie is that it makes me try things that I spent most of my formative years trying to avoid.

Like bell peppers.

Deep, deep sigh.

A whole dish centered around one of the foods I like least in the world (it doesn't rank quite as high as shredded coconut or beets, but they are pretty high on my steer clear of list).

Green peppers and I have a long history of not getting along.

When I was a wee one, my mom used to make these stuffed peppers.

I really liked the rice filling. Totally could not deal with the pepper it was stuffed in to.

Raw. Roasted.

It doesn't matter.

Bell peppers are not a friend.

Am I the only one?


What to do, what to do?

I read and re-read the recipe.

And no matter how many times I read the recipe, it involved chicken stewed with bell peppers.

Six. Count them - six bell peppers.

This just was not going to do at all.

So, I hang my head in shame as I admit that at this point, I made a mental note of the components and shut the book.

And thought.

Eventually, an alternate victim idea popped into my head.

It involved grilling the chicken breasts and roasting a melange of peppers (bell, cherry, jalapeno, cubanelle and some other pepper that I don't have a name for - I think they were cayenne), a couple of onions and a head of garlic (wrapped in foil) in the oven (500F ~30-40 minutes until black blisters appeared). After peeling the blistered skin and removing most of the seeds, I gave it all a rough chop and served it as a condiment to go with the chicken.

Crisis averted - I could eat my chicken naked and let the pepper lovers have at it.

Grilled zucchini strips rolled with a filling of feta cheese and za'atar were the perfect accompaniment.

The zucchini was the highlight of the meal for me. The Dude was happy with his peppered chicken -  even if it did chemically deaden all of the nerve endings in his mouth.

Cheating? Creative problem solving? Plain-out cowardice? 

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. To see other blogged (and more accurate) versions of this dish, please stop by the FFwD site. Dorie blogs about this dish here and the recipe can be found in two parts: here and here.


  1. Yeah, I remember stuffed peppers ... like you, l loved the filling, hated the pepper. I'm okay with green bells now, but I almost always go for the red bells, even in recipes that call for green (and I always let the bell peppers I grow ripen to red). Those food aversions ... they're something else.

  2. You are TOO funny Cher. Goin' all rogue on us....

  3. This recipe would have given me pause, too! On a completely unrelated topic. . . I love the plate!

  4. Yep - I cannot eat peppers, so had to compromise. Instead, I roasted some chiles. It's nice that you figured out a way to make it work for everyone!

    I love your zucchini rolls!

  5. Ha! Well played, Cher. Well played. I only have issues with green peppers. They have no place in my life. I'll roast red ones all day long, though.

  6. LOL - good for you. I am not a huge capsicum dan either, but I enjoyed this.

  7. LOL, Cher...always a good story over here! The green peppers of my youth weren't favorites, but I've grown to love the sweeter yellow and red bell peppers. Even Bill loved this!

  8. I have many issues with ingredients all the time because of different seasons. Also can´t stand fish, so if I can´t sub it for something else that works I skip the recipe. I refuse to make something that I won´t even taste. I think your substitution is better than the original! Chiles are wonderful. Have a great weekend Cher!

  9. Cher, You have to do what you have to do…there have been several recipes that I couldn’t bring myself to make! Food is expensive and I’m not about to make something that no one will eat! That said, I didn’t have time to make this one…I’m sure it would have been a hit in my house!

  10. Congrats on doing this your way! It sounds delicious.

  11. Loved the inside of the stuffed peppers too. Not the biggest fan of green peppers but I can put up with them in a dish... this was all about peppers. Glad you followed your heart, or was it your stomach and went rogue.

  12. What to do, what to do? Pipérade without bell peppers is like trying to make spaghetti without pasta. But you did it just fine!

  13. Looks delicious. I'm not opposed to peppers, but I too was thinking that this one would be great with some other sorts thrown in. Happy to hear that the Dude enjoyed it.

  14. Good workaround at a recipe featuring an ingredient you're not keen on! But wow, that mix of charred peppers looked spiiiicy! I guess you'll not be revisiting this recipe any time soon. ;) I'll have to give the zucchini roll a try. It looks absolutely marvelous.

  15. Your zucchini looks excellent, it's making me want to find za'atar. Now I feel guilty for so willingly skipping recipes with ingredients that I don't like! I'm always so impressed by your creativity.

  16. Those zucchinis look delicious!

  17. Love your zucchini side dish. I think we've all done a little creative problem-solving for an ingredient or two in this group.

  18. Great idea for an adaption -I wouldn't call it cheating- those stewed green peppers could have made you sick! I've been wanting to roll up some zucchini strips like yours- going to have to try this with chicken on the side-yum, now that sounds very good to me;-)
    Have a wonderful weekend Cher;-)

  19. I adore Zucchini and am always on the search for new ways to prepare it--this looks fabulous!

  20. Cher, you know these green peppers stuffed with rice that you mentioned - my mother used to cook them too and I hated them back then and still do, I never, ever use green peppers in my cooking and only occasionally red or orange ones. Not a pepper loving family. I love the fact that you found a way to please different palates.

    Have a good weekend!

  21. I often wonder why we just didn't make rice balls instead of stuffing the pepper. That
    was the only part I ever ate. I love your zucchini rollups with the feta, looks wonderful.
    Have a happy weekend.

  22. I hate stuffed peppers, also. I like your creative thinking and the zucchini sounds good, too!

  23. I love how you conquered your... fears? No, your frustrations :D
    Great job!

    Choc Chip Uru

  24. I understand totally, I have to do that with salmon recipes- try somehow to revise or get it around it. You did a jam-up job while still getting the main idea of the recipe- I also subbed in a menagerie of peppers from my garden & wherever; some of them hot some not.

  25. Glad you found a way around the peppers! You always come up with great alternatives when need be!

  26. Clever way out, Cher... If you dislike peppers as much as you say, you aren't going to like those purple peppers in your CSA box any better than the others. I would have thought you might like the sweeter red ones, but it doesn't seem that you do. The purple ones taste more like green ones. I do like your zucchini rolls. My sister gave me a HUGE bag of zaatar, so I'm always looking for new ideas on how to use it. I'll gave those rolls a try this week. Have a great weekend!

  27. Great idea chopping up the peppers:) Your dish looks lovely. I love the zucchini rolls with feta.

  28. always a joy to read your posts :) sounds like you took to the challenge though and made it something of your own! :) love it!

  29. Your zucchini looks fantastic! That would have been great with plain grilled chicken!

  30. It would be hard to make and eat this dish if you hate bell peppers. Luckily I love them, especially cooked! Nice save, and I agree with everyone else - the zucchini looks amazing!


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