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Chicken Provençal

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 10 min
  • Calories: 700
provencal chicken with olives, tomatoes, shallots, and white wine

Green olives, tomatoes, shallots, fresh thyme, white wine and plenty of garlic create a deeply fragrant, flavorful base for this delicately date-sweetened braised chicken Provençal.

Pass the Rosé, S’il Vous Plait

If we can’t travel to Provence for REAL—and unfortunately it’s just not in the cards right now—at least we can bring that idyllic, wine-soaked, lavender-scented, olive-grove dotted part of France to our dinner table. Vicarious travel is obviously not quite as good as real travel, but it’ll do in a pinch! As our regular readers will know, we make frequent (imaginary, culinary) stops in Southeast Asia and Italy, but today we’ve got the warm, sunny South of France on the brain and so we’re transforming regular old chicken thighs into an olive-y, garlicky, white wine-braised chicken Provençal. Just add crusty bread and plenty of rosé.

Ingredients laid out for Provencal Chicken tomatoes, green olives, bone in skin on chicken thighs, olive oil, dates, shallots

The Flavors of Provence

Provence is a comparatively sun-soaked region of France, and its cuisine reflects that. Our this braised chicken celebrates that Provençal bounty, using:

  • Olives. Olive groves are abundant in Provence, and the region produces truly excellent olive oil. Their briny bite brings a disproportionate amount of deliciousness to this simple braised chicken.
  • Wine, of course! White wine, specifically. Use a dry white wine that you enjoy drinking. More on that in a minute!
  • Herbs. You may have heard of the classic, lavender-flecked herb blend, Herbes de Provence, and if you’ve got some on-hand, go ahead and use it in this recipe! However, to keep things simple and approachable, we’re only calling for thyme. With so many big flavors at play, the braised chicken is still fragrant and delicious even with just thyme.
  • Tomatoes. You’re probably already familiar with one of Provence’s other famous tomato-laden culinary exports—ratatouille!
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic and lots of it—we just know that we’d be right at home in Provence.
salt and peppered skin on chicken thighs on parchment
8 bone in skin on chicken thighs browned in olive oil in a pan
browned chicken thighs in a pan with olives, tomatoes and shallots.
provencal chicken with olives, tomatoes, shallots, and white wine

The Best Braised Chicken is WINE-Braised Chicken (Clearly)

If you really want to stay on-theme, reach for a Provencal white wine for this delicious braise. Remember, braising is a moist-heat cooking method—as opposed to roasting, which relies primarily on dry-heat—and in this case, the moisture will come from the tomatoes and the FULL CUP of wine that you add to the pot. You can use any wine you enjoy drinking, but if you want to have a little fun, why not try a Provencal white wine? Here are a few common white wines from Provence:

  • Ugni Blanc. Also called “Trebbiano Toscano”, Ugni Blanc is a commonly planted varietal in France, and yields a crisp, tart white wine. It’s a little hard to find here in the U.S. but if you can find it, it’s often pretty inexpensive.
  • Marsanne / Roussanne. We’re combining these two grape varieties because that is what winemakers usually do—blend them! Marsanne is a French grape varietal that gives wines a little body and heft—kind of like Chardonnay. Roussanne is similarly full-bodied, but has an herbal, sometimes floral perfume that distinguishes it from Marsanne. Together, they’re a classic Rhône Valley white wine blend.
  • Grenache Blanc. Popular in Spain (where it’s called Garnacha or Garnatxa Blanca) and Southern France, Grenache Blanc isn’t too hard to find in the U.S., and is often quite affordable—yay for that! Use a Spanish or French bottle—either would be delicious in chicken Provençal.
provencal chicken with olives, tomatoes, shallots, and white wine and thyme

How to Braise Chicken

Specifically, here’s how to make chicken Provencal—and BTW “Provencal” just means “in the style of Provence”. Big flavors, moist heat, about an hour start-to-finish. Dinner is served.

  1. Season the chicken thighs. Salt, pepper, thyme.
  2. Brown the chicken thighs. Heat, oil, a light touch.
  3. Flavor the chicken thighs. Garlic, shallots, tomatoes, dates, olives, wine. Simmer.
  4. Braise the chicken thighs. Into a hot oven for an hour.
  5. Eat the chicken thighs. With crusty bread for sopping up all of that gorgeous sauce.
provencal chicken with olives, tomatoes, shallots, and white wine with a spoon

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Large oven proof pan—this is a great job for your Dutch oven—with a lid. The lid is a must!
  • Sharp knife.
  • Tongs are handy for browning the chicken thighs.
  • Rosé for drinking. Not essential, but highly recommended. It may not actually be sunny outside, but we can certainly pretend.

Braise Baby, Braise.

In our homes, winter—particularly these dreary, post-holiday months—is braising season. Pure, cozy, comfort to carry us gently towards spring.

provencal chicken with olives, tomatoes, shallots, and white wine

Hey, Let Us Know How You Liked This, OK?

Snap a photo of your chicken Provençal and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can see! Happy eating!

Chicken Provençal

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 10 min
  • Calories: 700

Ingredients

  • 8 Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3-4 sprigs Fresh thyme or 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 12 Cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 Medium-size shallots, peeled and halved
  • 2 Pints of cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup Dates, halved and pitted (if necessary)
  • 1 cup Green olives
  • 1 cup Dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)

Method

  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a large oven proof pan, and place in the chicken skin side down. Cook the chicken without disturbing it for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Flip chicken over.
  4. Arrange the thyme, garlic cloves, shallots, cherry tomatoes, dates and green olives around the chicken, then add the wine to the pan.
  5. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and place in the oven. Cook in the oven for 60 minutes.
  6. Serve over rice, polenta, mashed potatoes or with crusty bread for dipping.