The 14th of July is Bastille Day. While I enjoyed how we celebrated last year, I wanted to find some new ways for us to celebrate this year. In all my Googling, one of the things that caught my eye was another recipe suggested by Bon Appétit® for Roast Provençal Chicken.
The original recipe calls for a generous amount of herbes de Provence and a rather copious amount of olive oil. I mean, yes, I know olive oil is a healthy oil, but still!
In my steps to making this recipe mine, I first Googled “herbs de Provence” and was intrigued by this recipe from Emeril Lagasse, which calls for equal parts of the following dried herbs:
- fennel seed
Given that our herb garden is doing so well, I have ready access to fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil. So I simply purchased some dried savory to go along with the dried marjoram and fennel seed I already had on hand.
Me being me, I also reduced the amount of oil and salt, and instead of roasting a whole chicken, I used four large bone-in chicken breasts (as an added bonus, they were on sale that week at Brookshire’s — buy one get one for a penny!). I also baked it at a lower temperature; one could also grill it, if you can elevate your pan above the grate.
Dressing the cooked chicken with some fresh lemon juice just before eating it adds a bright citrus burst that helps tie all the flavors together. And even though I’m generally not a fan of fennel on its own, when combined with these other flavors, it was delicious.
So go on — the next time you want to transport yourself away, prepare Roast Provençal Chicken, pour yourself a glass of wine or sparkling water, and pretend you’re in Provence.
Herbs de Provence
I just eye-balled it all and mixed together approximately equal amounts of
- fennel seed
You can use dried herbs, fresh herbs, or a mixture. I used fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil and dried savory, marjoram, and fennel seed. Because dried herbs tend to have a more concentrated flavor than fresh, I used twice as much fresh herb as I did dried.
Roast Provençal Chicken (Serves 4, easy to adjust up and down)
- 4 bone-in chicken breasts (the bone and skin will help ensure the meat stays tender; if desired, you can remove the skin after baking)
- Coarse ground black pepper and salt (I used coarse ground sea salt) to taste
- Garlic to taste (minced cloves or dried, equivalent of two or three cloves)
- Herbs de Provence to taste (be generous!)
- Olive oil (could also use canola)
- Fresh lemon (for serving)
- Lightly rub chicken with olive oil (a tablespoon or so should do it) and place in a 13″x9″ pan.
- Mix garlic with herbs de Provence and rub thoroughly all over the chicken.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake at 350F (no need to preheat!) until chicken is done, about one hour. If you want the skin crispier, broil for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Let rest 5 or 10 minutes. Dress each serving with fresh lemon wedges.
- Refrigerate leftovers; bring to room temperature before serving.