There are so many variations of this rustic and hearty French Classic, Chicken Provencal.  It can be adapted to all seasons depending on the produce available and served with any number of sides.  Mash, Rice, Quinoa or Crusty Bread to mop up the delicious, comforting sauce.  This is my take and I used what I had as we were going away, but wow! It was outstanding in flavour, perfect in texture and a real purse string pleaser.  As I am always trying to come up with new recipes, there are not too many on high rotation in my house.  Chicken Provencal may just test that theory….

Prep time:  20 Minutes

Cooking time:  1 Hour and 10 Minutes

$$  Medium Budget

Serves 4 

For the Chicken Provencal:

Olive oil for frying

20gm of unsalted butter

2 tbs of plain flour

Sea salt & Pepper

8 Chicken thigh cutlets, skin on and bone in (You could use a mix of leg and thigh)

2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 red onion, peeled, halved and sliced top to bottom

4 anchovy fillets, chopped (do not be put off by this, you will not taste fish.  They literally dissolve in the sauce and give the dish a real umami flavour)

3 bay leaves

1 tsp of chilli flakes

4 strips of lemon peel

1 tbs of fresh tarragon, finely chopped

1 yellow capsicum, sliced

1 punnet of baby tomatoes (assorted colours are always nice but not essential)

1 tbs of baby capers

16 kalamata olives (seed in are nice but seedless are also fine and feel free to put more in)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 cup of dry white wine

400ml of Passata

1 heaped tsp of sugar

A little sea salt & pepper (taste first, it may not need any salt)

Chopped fresh tarragon or parsley for garnish (I have a constant supply of baby herbs but they are not essential)

Serve with your choice of side…….Mash, Rice, Quinoa, Crusty Bread

Steamed greens or salad of your choice

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

To prepare the Chicken Provencal, place the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow tray and lightly coat the chicken thighs in the flour.  Heat a large oven proof pan (or a frypan and transfer the Chicken Provencal to an oven proof casserole once prepared) and add a good drizzle of oil and the butter.  Once the butter and oil are bubbling, fry the chicken thighs skin side down first, in batches until golden brown on both sides.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add the onion slices and fry until just starting to soften then add the garlic, anchovies, chilli flakes, bay leaves and lemon rind.  Give a good stir and allow to fry for a couple of minutes before adding the capsicum, olives, capers and tomatoes.  Stir periodically and when the capsicum has wilted and the tomatoes are starting to break down slightly, pour in the lemon juice and wine and simmer until the wine has reduced by about half.  Pour in the passata and rinse the bottle out with a little water and also add it to the pan along with the tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon.  Season with sugar, a little salt if needed and a good sprinkling of pepper and stir to combine.  Place the thigh fillets back in the pan skin side up and spoon sauce over the top of the thighs.  Pop a lid on and bake the Chicken Provencal in the oven for approximately 1 hour, until the chicken is golden and cooked through and the sauce is bubbling.

Serve the Chicken Provencal with your choice of side and garnish with the herbs.

If you love french food, you will love this!


Chicken Provencal