Chipiron is the French basque name given to these small squids. There are extremely tender, but only if you cook them well 🙂 I really love them and I think I may eat them almost every day during the season 🙂  

The high season starts from August and lasts until October. They start to appear at the fishmonger’s shop, so this week I didn’t hesitate at all to buy some!

At first sight, cleaning these squid may seem unappealing, but actually it is really ok. But above all, keep in mind that their cooking is very quick and what a joy to eat them freshly with a homemade sauce!

I suggest a recipe of chipiron-squid just sauté with olive oil and garlic confit with a basque country sauce. DELICIOUS I’m telling you !!!

Recipe of Chipiron sauté with black olive and pepper

Ingredients for a starter for 4 people:

  • 600 g of small squids (chipirons)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 7 black greek olives
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 or 4 sundried tomatoes
  • 2 twigs of fresh mint
  • piment d’espelette (chili from the Basque Country)
  • olive oil

1. Preparation of Chipiron

First, you need to separate the body from the head by gently pulling on the body. In the water wash them carefully and take off the cartilage inside the body and the 2 small wings outside. But please keep tentacles (believe me it’s the best part !!!) and just cut down the eyes (It’s not as barbarian as it sounds). Then, wash them several times and dry them on a kitchen roll. 

2. Preparation of the sauce

  • Cut the pepper finely diced 
  • Pitt and quarter the olives 
  • Wash the fresh mint and chop it
  • Cut the sundried tomatoes in small pieces

3. Cooking of the sauce

Start to warm up the olive oil in a pan with 2 garlic cloves. Then add the red pepper and cook it for 5 minutes and then add olives and sun-dried tomatoes and 1 garlic clove chopped and then sprinkle with espelette chilli. Put it aside.

4. Cooking of chipirons

To preserve their tenderness you need to cook them very quickly in a very hot pan with some olive oil for a few minutes. Leave the garlic cloves used for the sauce inside the pan : it will enhance the taste of the chipirons and garlic will start to be confit. If chipirons release some water, please take it off immediately. When the cooking ends, add a clove of garlic chopped and some espelette chili.

Pour then the sauce with the chipirons in the pan and mix them together quickly. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar.

When ready to serve, sprinkle some mint finely chopped and eat them immediately! 

And the cherry on the top: you can add some crispy bacon or chorizo chips on the top 🙂

Bon appétit !


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