Chicken Provençal is a real oldie but goodie. I make this dish so much that I keep waiting for a complaint from the lovely gang I repeatedly serve it to, but it never comes. This juicy, meltingly tender, crazy-flavourful roasted chicken dish does not require any browning, calls for very few ingredients, is quick enough for a weeknight — if like us, you eat on the late-ish side — is fancy enough for company, and it serves a crowd. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Reaching cult status, this recipe has been all over the internet for a while so there is a chance you might have already made it, or stashed it in your to-make file. It comes from Sam Sifton via the New York Times and is one of their most popular recipes. But in case you haven’t yet stumbled upon it, or simply needed a reminder, I felt I should pass it along. It’s a great one for these chilly nights.
What is Provençal Style of Cooking
Provençal is a term that refers to dishes prepared with ingredients traditionally found in Provence, a region in southeastern France bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. The ingredients commonly used in Provençal cuisine are olive oil, garlic, and herbs de Provence – a blend of aromatic herbs that are native to to the Provence region. The blend of herbs typically found in herbs de Provence include marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme, basil and lavender. This Chicken Provençal recipe combines all these French ingredients creating a dish that is extremely easy to execute but stands out with it’s sophisticated flavours.
How to Make Chicken Provençal
Some recipes for Chicken Provençal add tomatoes and olives but I feel there is enough flavour going on without them. The preparation of this dish could not be simpler; chicken pieces get seasoned with salt and pepper, dusted with flour, and then topped with a good dose of herbs de Provence. The chicken then roasts in a shallow pool of Vermouth for an hour alongside whole shallots, lemon wedges and garlic cloves that not only add more flavour to the chicken and sauce, but become caramelized and irresistibly sweet and delicious. Don’t skip the basting or the chicken will not brown or be as flavourful. One baste is all you need to do, but two is even better. Mr. Sifton likes to serve his chicken simply with crusty bread and a salad, which I often do as well. But in keeping with the French theme, I also love to serve this with cannellini beans that are quickly sautéed with herbs, shallots and crispy garlic. Surprisingly for me, I don’t change a single thing from the original recipe. Oh, except maybe one; I double the amount of Vermouth. I suggest you do too.
If you enjoy this recipe, you may also want to try this one:
- 4 chicken legs or 8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (trim excess skin and fat)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ to ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
- 1 lemon halved and then quartered into wedges
- 8 to 10 cloves garlic peeled
- 6-8 medium-size shallots peeled and halved
- ⅓ cup dry vermouth I double this amount
- 4 sprigs of thyme for serving (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a shallow pan, and lightly dredge the chicken in it, shaking the pieces to remove excess flour.
- Swirl the oil in a large roasting pan, or large skillet, and place the floured chicken in it, skin side up. Season the chicken with the herbes de Provence.
- Arrange the lemon, garlic cloves and shallots around the chicken, then add the vermouth to the pan.
- Put the pan in the oven, and roast for 25 minutes, then baste it with the pan juices (do not skip this step). Continue roasting for another 25 minutes, or until the chicken is very crisp and the meat cooked through.
- Serve in the pan or on a warmed platter, garnished with the thyme, if using.
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