The taste of sweet bell peppers is one of the quintessential flavors in the Spanish cooking of the Basque Country.

Slowly sauteed and enriched with bits of jamon (ham), they become a delectable sauce for chicken.

In this Spanish recipe, the chicken is partially roasted then flambeed and baked in the pepper sauce.

Roast potatoes are a classic accompaniment!

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375F. Rub the chicken with salt, black pepper, and the paprika. Arrange the chicken in one layer in a wide earthenware cazuela, casserole, or deep flameproof baking dish.

Brush the chicken lightly with olive oil and bake until almost cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, heat the 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.   Add the onion and cook until limp but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the ham and cook, stirring, until it just begins to brown.  Add the red and green peppers, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes, wine, and chicken stock, cover the skillet, and cook the pepper sauce until the vegetables are very soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the cazuela from the oven and carefully spoon off the fat.  Place the cazuela over medium heat, add the brandy, and bring to a boil.

Remove the pan from the heat and carefully ignite the brandy with a match, standing back until the flames subside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325F.  Pour the pepper sauce evenly over the chicken and return the cazuela to the oven.

Bake the chicken until it is very tender and the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.  Let the chicken cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy this classic Spanish recipe!

Serves 4 to 6