Roasted Chicken Provencal

This recipe is inspired from Sam Sifton's NYTimes recipe. Did I mention how much I love the cooking section of NYT? Both the recipes and the writing is just amazing! I have a stack of about 50+ to try recipes saved in my NYT recipe box - and many others I have successfully added to our daily meals. 

This is one such winner recipe for us. We have made it on countless occasions - from simple comfy family weekday dinners to serving guests at an elaborate sit-down dinners, and every single time this recipe has never failed to please! The pot is always wiped clean to the last bit and no left-overs what so ever :)

Put simply this is roasted chicken pieces seasoned with liberal amounts of herbs de provence (spice blend from Provence region of France) and roasted with lemons, whole garlic cloves, shallots, olives and potatoes until the meat is tender and flavored with all the seasonings. 

The dish is so simple and yet so flavorful! It's a perfect recipe for a new cook to try and wow their guests. There are only two steps: gather everything in a large cast iron oven ready pan and put in the oven. How easy is that!

I made one change to the original recipe: I prefer chicken breast halves instead of thighs or drumsticks and accordingly reduced cooking time to 30minutes @375. I use about one teaspoon of herbs de provence per chicken breast half.

Herbs de provence is a blend of herbs used in the Provence region of France. The one I have has marjoram, thyme, lavender, savory, rosemary and oregano. You can always substitute by mixing these herbs yourselves - but honestly the blend is divine and I highly recommend investing in a jar of this. I add it to meats, roasted potatoes and soups. Trader Joe's carries one for about $4.99 for a large jar - great investment!

Season the chicken piece with salt, pepper and herbs de provence. Dredge in some flour. Arrange them in a large cast iron pan (oven-ready pan) drizzled with olive oil. Add sliced potatoes, shallots, lemon slices and whole cloves of garlic. Tuck some garlic and lemons below the chicken pieces and some in between. 

Add 1/2C of chicken stock or veggie stock or just plain water. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through - center of the thickest piece should be clear when pierced by knife and the juices should run clear.

Remove from oven, add a juice of half a lemon, cover with an aluminum foil and let rest for few mins. Serve while still hot with a nice crusty bread to mop up any sauces! 

The dish pairs great with any salad - couscous salad, quinoa salad or just some simple greens salad and a glass of bold red wine!