Poulet Provencal

poulet_provencal_02Okay, I’m being a snob. It’s like a braised chicken in tomatoes and olives.

It’s a French dish.

It’s awfully good.

It’s easy to make.

Need I go on?

Did I say it was good?

One of the things I’m discovering as I try to give proper credit for dishes I didn’t create or tweak so viciously that I bear the blame for the results, is that there is a whole lot of creative stealing on the web. I found this exact recipe on two sites, one claiming it got it from Gourmet. In any case, I got this one from Epicurious under “braised chicken with Tomatoes and Olives”. I didn’t change much except use canned whole tomatoes instead of fresh, and I couldn’t find any brine-cured black olives so I used regular ones.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1  15 oz can of whole tomatoes, juice and all, squash up the tomatoes with your hands. Or get 3-4 medium tomatoes and cut into about 8 wedges each.
  • 1 lg onion, also cut in wedges, leaving the root end to hold the wedge together
  • 1/2 c of olives of whatever type you prefer. Brine-cured if possible. Even green olives work with this
  • 4 lg garlic cloves, sliced thinly + 1 tsp minced
  • 3 tbsp good quality olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp herbes de provence (or your own blend of rosemary, thyme, savory, sage, oregano)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (I omit this because I don’t like fennel)
  • 1 whole chicken
  • parsley chopped for garnish–about 1/2 c.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Place tomatoes, onions, olives, garlic, 2 tbsp of oil, 1 tsp of the herb mixture, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl and mix gently. Pour into a shallow baking dish. The dish should be large enough that there is still room to place the chicken in the middle.
  3. Stir together the minced garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper, plus the remaining herb mixture with 1 tbsp oil.
  4. Pat dry your bird and then get the seasoning on the bird, inside and out.  Place the bird in the baking dish with the veggies.
  5. Roast until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh, reads 170°. (about 1 1/4 hrs)
  6. Let rest for 15 minutes. Serve the veggies and juices on the side.

Serves: 4-5

NOTES: This is great with mashed or roasted potatoes. But noodles or rice would also work. As to the chicken. You may wish to brine it, though braising helps it remain succulently moist. I do recommend that you let the bird sit in the fridge uncovered for at least 8 hours or over night (up to 24 is fine), to dry out. This lets the skin get really nice and crispy. But I don’t always do that and it will turn out just fine if you don’t.

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