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Monday, December 19, 2011

French Chicken Fantastique!

Poulet Provencal

If you, like many hostesses during the holidays, are pressed for time, yet require a delicious meal lovely enough  for guests, preparing Poulet Provencal will be providential!  Coating the chicken with olive oil and herbs, crisps the skin and leaves the meat succulent.  The tomatoes, onions, garlic and olives baking alongside create a savory stew which serves as a side dish. The aroma of this roasting chicken will scent your home with herbes de Provence, transporting your guests to a colorful table in the South of France.  C'est magnifique!

Poulet Provencal Recipe
3-4 medium tomatoes cut into wedges
1 large onion, cut into wedges, leaving root ends intact
1/2 cup brine-cured pitted black olives
4 large garlic cloves sliced, plus 1 t minced

3 T olive oil, divided
2 t herbes de Provence*, divided
1/2 t fennel seeds
1 whole chicken 3 1/2 to 4 pounds

Kitchen string

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss together tomatoes, onion, olives, sliced garlic, 2 T oil, 1 t herbes de Provence, fennel seeds, dash of salt, dash of pepper in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.  Push vegetables to sides of dish to make room for chicken.

Stir together minced garlic, 1 t salt, 1/2 t pepper, remaining teaspoon herbes de Provence, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
Remove excess fat from chicken and pat dry, then rub inside and out with seasoning mixture.

Tie legs together with string and place chicken in baking dish.  Roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 170 degrees, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.  Let chicken stand 10 minutes before carving.  

*herbes de Provence can be found at most gourmet groceries and kitchen shops or follow this guide to mixing:
2 T dried savory,  2 T dried oregano
2 T dried rosemary,  2 T dried basil
2 T dried thyme,  2 T dried marjoram
             2 T dried fennel seed
Mix all together and store in an air-tight container.

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