If you can’t go to Provence, Provence can still come to you! With bold sun-kissed flavors, this classic Chicken Provençal is an uncomplicated recipe reminiscing of warm summers in the South of France. It features wine-braised crispy-skinned chicken with loads of melty garlic and shallots, briny bites of green olives, tender artichoke hearts and sweet cherry tomatoes – all showered under fragrant Herbes de Provence.
This is a simple one-pan dish that is incredibly flavorful and perfect for weeknight dinners or entertaining guests. Be sure to have crusty bread on-hand for sopping up the beautiful sauce, and a bottle of Provençal rosé for sipping along to – bien sûr!
What is “Chicken Provençal”?
Not a specific recipe, “Provençal” refers to the style of cooking that hails from the sun-kissed region of Provence, in Southern France. The Provençal style is often used for preparing chicken or fish, and consists of using the staple ingredients found in the region: extra-virgin olive oil and olives from the local orchards, garlic (lots of it!), tomatoes that grow abundantly, and of course, Herbes de Provence (see paragraph below).
The chicken gets dusted with flour, browned in a pan, and then braised slowly in a pool of wine, nestled with the other ingredients. It makes for a deliciously moist chicken with a crisp brown skin, melty garlic and an incredibly flavorful sauce for mopping up with fresh crusty bread.
There likely exists as many variants of “Provençal” recipes as there are families in Provence. The main ingredients are always there (EVOO, olives, garlic, tomatoes, herbs and wine) but other ingredients can be added for extra flavor: bell peppers, lemon quarters, artichoke hearts, anchovies, capers, etc.
For this version of Chicken Provençal, I opted for the use of meaty green olives, cherry tomatoes for bursts of sweetness, shallots for their lovely caramelized notes, and tender artichoke hearts which marry great with chicken.
About Herbes de Provence
Herbes de Provence are a key “ingredient” to give Chicken Provençal its signature flavor. This is a typical mix of dried herbs from Provence and usually includes: savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano and sometimes lavender too (although I wouldn’t recommend the use of lavender for this chicken recipe).
Herbes de Provence mix can be found online, in specialty stores or bulk stores (ie. Bulkbarn in Canada); but if you can’t find it you can easily make your own mix at home. Use an equal amount of each dried herb and mix. Keep it in a sealed jar or in a tied up pouch, for months.
If you can’t find Herbes de Provence, you can simply use thyme and/or rosemary – which are two very accessible herbs.
Which wine to choose?
A Chicken Provençal is just as delicious made with either white or red wine – but not rosé! Keep that one for sipping on the side. For the recipe pictured here, I used a cup of red wine which creates deeper, heart-warming flavors. Use white wine if you want lighter flavors and lovely fruity notes.
In both cases, white or red, choose a “crisp” wine (meaning, with high-acidity), which is always the best choice for cooking.
- For whites, great choices are: Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and unoaked Chardonnay
- For reds, great choices are: Merlot, Pinot Noir or a light Cabernet are best.
- Some recipes call for Vermouth, which creates a deeper-tasting sauce with lovely botanical notes.
- And if you want to keep things one-themed, a Provençal Trebbiano white is perfect.
- I recommend you take the chicken pieces out of the fridge at least 1 hour before you cook them, to allow them to get close to room temperature. Pat the chicken dry very thoroughly, which will make for an extra-crisp skin when cooking.
- It is important to opt for bone-in pieces of chicken, as the bones will lend so much more flavor to the sauce and whole dish.
- You can remove the skin of the chicken if you want a healthier version of this dish– although I think the skin lends a great amount of flavour to the sauce.
- I like to use Spanish Queen Olives, as they are large, plump and tasty. I prefer using olives with pits as they are more flavorful and will also impart more flavor to the sauce. But for convenience, you can opt for pitted olives.
- Shallots can be substituted for pearl onions.
I hope you’ll love this Chicken Provençal with Olives and Cherry Tomatoes recipe as much as I do!
You may also like:
- Cod Provençal with Tomatoes, Capers & Olives
- Coq Au Vin Blanc
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts in Grape Sauce
- Simple Chicken Marengo with Mushrooms
- Braised Chicken Thighs with Garlic and Onion
4 skin-on chicken leg quarters (or 8 Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (42g) flour
3 tbsp (45ml) Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 tbsp Herbes de Provence
8-10 cloves garlic, peeled
6 medium-size shallots, peeled and halved
2 pints/4 cups (600g) of cherry tomatoes
4 artichoke hearts, quartered (canned, drained)
1 cup Green olives (with pits or pitted)
1 cup (250ml) dry wine (red, white) or Vermouth
3-4 sprigs Fresh thyme
Make sure you read the cooking notes before you start.
Step 1 – Rinse the chicken pieces thoroughly and pat them dry all over with paper towel to remove any excess moisture; this will help ensure the skins gets a nice crispy skin when cooking. I like to allow the chicken to come close to room temperature before cooking.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the 1/3 cup of flour (42g) in a shallow plate and roll each chicken quarter/thigh in flour to cover evenly.
Pre-heat your oven to 400° F (205° C), with a rack in the middle.
Step 2 – Heat the EVOO in a large oven proof pan, and place in the chicken skin side down. Cook the chicken without disturbing it for 6-7 minutes until golden brown. Flip chicken over and cook again for 6-7 minutes.
Step 3 – Sprinkle the chicken pieces with Herbes de Provence. Arrange the garlic cloves, shallots, cherry tomatoes, green olives and artichoke around the chicken, then add the wine to the pan. Arrange a few sprigs of thyme on top of the chicken. Cover with a lid and place in the oven.
Cook for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, baste the chicken with the pan juices and cook for 20-25 more minutes (lid off) until the chicken is cooked thoroughly and browned.
Serve over rice, potatoes, or cannellini beans - with crusty bread for dipping.
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a comment below, rate the recipe and/or share a photo on Instagram: tag @pardonyourfrench and hashtag it #pardonyourfrench. Bon Appetit!