The Sauce: Herbes de Provence Sauce – A fragrant combination of dried rosemary, marjoram, thyme, basil and lavender, this pan sauce is simple yet elegant. It has a touch of butter for silkiness and dash of fresh lemon for brightness.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
South of France
With all due respect for Julia Child, French food can be very easy to cook. Take this fast but fragrant chicken dish that leverages the cornucopia of herbs mixed in one jar of Herbes de Provence. Typical of the Provence region in southwestern France it contains the customary rosemary, marjoram, thyme, basil and lavender. Some versions include one or more of fennel, parsley, tarragon, sage or savory. I love to drink in the aroma of this herb blend when I unscrew the lid.
A few shakes into a heated sauté pan and the aroma of the South of France wafts throughout the kitchen. Once you
reduce the pan sauce, add a small pat of butter for richness and silky texture plus fresh lemon juice for brightness. These are the finishing touches of a French restaurant chef. Pour the fragrant pan sauce over the chicken. Voila!
You may also want to try French Beef Stew.
Recipe: Chicken Provence
Prep Time: 4 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Yield: 4 Servings | Level: Easy
- 2 large boneless chicken breast halves, about 10-12 oz each
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tsp herbes de Provence
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- sprig of thyme for garnish
- Exchange large chicken breasts for 4 small chicken breasts or 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders.
- Exchange herbes de Provence for 3/4 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried rosemary and 1/4 tsp dried thyme.
- Exchange thyme for a rosemary sprig.
Special Equipment – large skillet
1 Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. With your hand lightly pressing down, slice the breast in half through the equator to create two 1/2-inch cutlets. Season with salt and pepper.
2 In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook on both sides until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove from the pan onto a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
3 Add the garlic to the pan and cook until it starts to smell, about 10-15 seconds taking care not to brown or scorch. Add the chicken broth, herbes de Provence and stir to loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half, to about 1/2 cup.
Chicken breasts can also be pounded to 1/2-inch cutlets by placing each breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pounding with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Slicing retains the chicken breast shape and is faster than pounding. Chicken tenders don’t require cutting or pounding.
To ensure the garlic does not burn, place the cup of chicken broth next to the stove so it’s ready to splash into the pan.
Serve with polenta, rice pilaf, or mashed potatoes.
Cook a couple extra pieces of chicken for a main dish salad. Dice the chicken, add salad greens and vegetables, a few crisp bacon pieces and a sliced hard boiled egg. For the dressing, combine 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp honey and 4 Tbsp white vinegar, slowly whisk and add 4 Tbsp olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Add some of the leftover pan sauce. Drizzle over the salad.
Inspiration – Cooking Light
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: January 17, 2013