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Chicken Provençal

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Updated January 29, 2009

Drawing from traditional cuisine of Southeastern France, this is a complete one-pot meal that is naturally free from all common allergens, save tomatoes and onions. While it takes about two hours from start to finish, most of that time is passive. After about ten minutes of preparation time and about twenty more browning meat and vegetables, the stew braises gently on the stove for about an hour and a half, filling your kitchen with the fragrance of Provence. If you prefer not to cook with wine, simply double the amount of chicken broth. Serves six.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • paprika to taste
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (or butter, if not avoiding dairy)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and quartered
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 c fruity white or red wine (Pinot Noir, Syrah, Beaujolais, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Grigio would all work)
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, or 2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 3 tbsp. fresh tarragon, or 1 tbsp. dried
  • 3 tbsp. fresh thyme, or 1 tbsp. dried

Preparation:

  1. Season chicken on all sides with salt, pepper, and paprika.

  2. Heat olive oil (or butter) in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. (You could also use a saucepan large enough to hold all chicken pieces in a single layer). Brown chicken on all sides until golden, approximately four minutes per side. Remove chicken and keep on a plate.

  3. Increase heat to medium-high and add garlic, onion, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Sauté until golden brown.

  4. Add wine and chicken stock. Deglaze pan, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

  5. Bring liquid to a boil and reduce the liquid to about half. Taste liquid for salt. It should be just a bit saltier than you'd normally prefer (as the chicken will release a good bit of liquid as it cooks). Add more salt or pepper, as needed. Reduce heat as low as possible.

  6. Top the onion-potato mixture first with the tomatoes, then with the herbs, and then with the chicken. Cover tightly and simmer for about ninety minutes.
  7. When the dish is ready, the chicken will be nearly falling off the bone. Skim off any fat that may have rendered out on top of the sauce. Serve pieces of chicken in bowls, topped with the tomato and potato mixture.

    Chicken Provençal is a hearty meal on its own, but see below for several dishes you can prepare while this cooks for a simple dinner party. (Note that the Salade Niçoise recipe includes fish and eggs.)

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