Roast Chicken Provencal

by Anne Bennett on April 9, 2015

Although I live in the American Midwest, I subscribe to the Sunday New York Times, which gets dropped in my driveway late every Saturday night. It’s not that I crave “all the news that fit to print.” My embarrassing truth is this: the highlight of my week is sitting down with the (impossibly difficult) Sunday NYT crossword puzzle and a cup of coffee. I cheat and it still takes me all morning.

Last Sunday an article titled,  “The Enduring Appeal of Roast Chicken Provencal,” appeared in the Times magazine a few pages in front of the puzzle. It was accompanied by this tantalizing photograph:

Chicken Provencal

Photograph courtesy of the New York Times

While it looked appealing, I was skeptical.  New York Times recipes are weird. Do I really want to be “Cooking with Kimchi?” (There’s a link in case you are the type.) Or how about “Fish Cakes with Herbs and Chiles?”   (Another link for you fish cake aficionados. You must be New Yorkers.)

But this…is simply chicken. Chicken in one pan with almost no preparation. Here’s what you do: you put chicken in a roasting pan, add a few simple ingredients and into the oven it goes. That’s it. My next thought was that it couldn’t possibly taste good because it’s way too easy. So easy, in fact, that I had to give it a go just to prove my point about the general weirdness of Times’ recipes.

Here’s my chicken all ready for the oven:

raw chicken 3

Eight chicken thighs with shallots, lemon, garlic & Herbes de Provence & doused with dry vermouth.

So how was it? Today is Thursday and I’ve already made this dish twice since last Sunday. That’s how good it is.  And it’s a perfect dish for entertaining because your time can be spent with your guests instead of doing lots of kitchen prep. Make a salad ahead of time and have it ready in the fridge and your work is done.

We Weight Watchers like to skin our chicken before cooking, but I’m inclined to leave the skin on to assure that the meat doesn’t dry out during the roasting process. You can use skinless and boneless chicken, but be sure to adjust the cooking time.

I apologize, New York Times. Your recipes aren’t (all) weird.

4 whole chicken legs, or 8 bone-in chicken thighs
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. dried Herbes de Provence (sounds like a lot but it isn’t)
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
8 garlic cloves, peeled
4 to 6 medium shallots, peeled and halved
1/3 cup dry vermouth
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Put flour on a plate and lightly dredge chicken in it, shaking each piece to remove excess flour.

Swirl olive oil in a roasting pan and place floured chicken in it skin-side up. Season chicken with Herbes de Provence. Arrange the lemons, garlic cloves and shallots around the chicken, and add the vermouth to the pan.

Put pan in the oven and roast for 25 minutes, then baste chicken with the pan juices.  Continue roasting for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken is very crisp and the meat is cooked through.

Serve the chicken, shallots and garlic garnished with the thyme sprigs.

Serves 4
WW Points per serving: 10

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Pat April 15, 2015 at 9:24 am

This is outstanding, Ann! I added cubed red potatoes at the half-way mark. The caramelized veggies & lemons are divine. Great use for those Penzey spice blends I received in a gift box! Thank you!

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