Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Roast Chicken Provencale


This was a wonderful roast chicken recipe -- probably the best I've ever cooked. I've had the intent to do a roast chicken post -- I even took a few pictures at one point during a prior chicken-roasting -- but just never made time to write. Partly, I thought you've roasted chicken before. Surely, you have. You don't need me to show you. I always hesitate to come off sounding like a rocket scientist -- I think Ina does that a lot. Like what she is showing you has never been done before, even thought it has -- a hundred times. I suppose Ina doesn't intend to do that any more than I do -- just trying to help the average person with something she might need help with.

So, in no way am I implying, by posting pictures of a roast chicken, that you don't know how to roast a chicken. But, if you like pictures of food prep, or you have never roasted a whole chicken, this post is for you.

For the rest of you expert chicken roasters, just note the part about the provencale, because it really is some tasty chicken.

Provencale is a term used for French cooking which involves herbs and, often, a tomato sauce with olive oil, garlic and herbs. My dad used to make a fish provencale and it was pretty gourmet if my memory serves. This recipe is called Provencale simply because of the use of the Herbes de Provence -- a bottle of dried herbs you'll find in your grocery store -- a mix of basil, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme. If you can't find an official bottle, here
is a recipe for mixing your own (if you have all those herbs in your pantry). My Giant Eagle had a bottle of Market District Herbes de Provence for about $3.50.

This recipe came from
Cooking Light, and I followed it pretty closely. There are a few adjustments in italics, but those are mostly related to chicken basics -- like the fact that I roast my chicken breast side down so the white meat stays very juicy. You can find the recipe here if you prefer to stick with the original recipe.

Roast Chicken Provencale
serves 8 to 10

2 T. dried herbes de Provence
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (7-pound) roasting chicken
1 small onion, quartered
2 cans low-fat or fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other dry white wine
2/3 c. fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 T. chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; mash to a paste consistency.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat.

his picture was taken when I was just roasting a chicken without the herbs -- if you were just roasting, without herbs, you would salt and pepper the outside -- no need with the Chicken Provencale.)

(Here I'm salting and peppering the cavity -- again not necessary with the Provencale)

Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. (because I roast my chicken breast side down, I did this on the back and thighs as well). Rub seasoning mixture under loosened skin.

Place onion in body cavity. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Tie legs together with string (Just wrap cooking twine in a figure eight around leg ends and tie in a knot -- you can also extend tie around wings to keep them close to the body -- prevents overcooking -- but if you don't eat the wings, that's not necessary -- here's a quick how to video). I don't even tie the legs if I am roasting a chicken with an empty cavity -- it cooks faster that way.

Place chicken, breast side down, on a rack inside a roasting pan. Pour chicken broth into bottom of roasting pan (this will prevent any drippings from charring in the bottom of the pan). Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and roast for about 2 hours, basting occasionally with drippings and broth. Chicken is done when a thermometer registers 180 degrees F in the deepest part of the breast (I also measure the deepest part of the thigh). Remove chicken from pan. Cover with foil, and let stand 10 minutes.

Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour pan drippings into bag; let stand 5 minutes (any fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into pan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat (you will likely not need all the drippings because you added broth to the pan before you started -- you will need about 12 oz. total for the sauce).

Place pan over medium-high heat. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 2/3 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat; add butter, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Serve sauce with chicken.

Printer version



Charlotte (Matilda) said...

Oh Barb! This look delicious. Thank you so much especially for the zip top baggie idea. I always thought you had to have one of those grease straining cups and of course, I never did.

scmom (Barbara) said...

Charlotte, Cooking Light gave me the idea, so I can't take credit. Just make certain you cut a fairly small hole, or all of your cooking liquid will be out of the bag before you know it! ;-)

Barb, sfo said...

Well, whoever thought of that is a genius. I don't have one of those handy-dandy fat-straining measuring cups either.

Nicole said...

I also love the ziploc bag idea! That is so smart of Cooking Light...and for you to share it. I absolutely love roast chicken, one of my favorite meals.

Shaun said...

You never come off as anything but genuinely helpful. I reference your site all the time and it is really helpful for me because I'm just now discovering that I love to cook. You are an inspiration to me.