Savvy Simmer & Savour: Chicken Provencal

27 Jan

Hearty winter fare need not be high fat cooking. A pot of Chicken Provencal is satisfying, simple and rib-sticking cooking for the Savvy Single (or couple). I made the full recipe which serves 6 [4 for hearty appetites] . . . so I’d have two suppers this week and some for the freezer. This would be a nice option to take to school or work for a hot lunch as it reheats well in the microwave. It is also easy and impressive enough for new cooks to serve for a dinner party.

Low Fat Chicken Provencale on egg noodles

Low Fat Chicken Provençal on egg noodles

The recipe I used this week is from Homestyle: Low Fat [Murdock Books Pty Limited, Australia, 2008]. And as you may recall, this past week’s recipes were based on ingredients already in my freezer or pantry to stretch that end of January budget.

The prep time for Chicken Provençal is low at 15 minutes but it does need someone around to give the pot attention throughout the 1 hour and 20 minute total cooking time. I see this as a perfect Sunday cooking project, after returning from a glide on the World Heritage Site Rideau Canal Skateway or a cross-country ski on our glorious Gatineau Park trails. Get the pot cooking when you get home. Take advantage of the first simmer period to have a steaming hot shower. Then enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or toss a salad and make the rice(or egg noodles) in the last 30 minutes. Or both.

If you want to make this meal even more low-fat, remove the skin from your chicken pieces after cooking/reheating and before eating.


  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)                            Olive oil
  • 3 1/2 lbs (1.5kg)                          Chicken pieces (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 1                                                      Onion, chopped
  • 1                                                      Sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp (60 mL) or more            Dry white wine
  • 4 Tbsp (60 mL) or less              Chicken broth (depending on amt wine used)
  • 1 – 15 oz (425 g)                          can of diced tomatoes (or whole, chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp                                           tomato paste**
  • 1/2 cup (90 g)                              black olives
  • small handful                              fresh basil, sliced (or 1 Tbsp dried)

** Sourcing an Italian deli or well-stocked grocery store for the tubes of tomato paste (around $2-3.00 Cdn a tube) is one of the smartest things a Savvy Single cook can do. Much easier than opening a can of paste, storing the unused portions and then tossing it later when it crawls out of your refrigerator covered in fuzzy mould.

After the first 30 minutes simmer in Dutch oven

After the first 30 minutes simmer in Dutch oven


  1. Rinse chicken pieces under cold water and pat dry.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven (or stove-top safe casserole, like cast-iron, or a large sauce pan) over Med-High heat. Brown chicken pieces in batches, about 2 minutes per side. The chicken will brown and sear best if the pieces are not all crowded together in the pan at this stage. Remove to a plate and brown the next batch.
  3. When all chicken pieces browned, return them to the pan. Add the chopped onion and the chopped red pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until the onion has softened.
  4. Add the wine, stock, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, olives and dried basil (if using in place of the fresh basil). Stir to combine. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil.
  5. Cover the pot and reduce the heat of the burner so the mixture just simmers. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid. Turn the chicken pieces over and simmer, uncovered, for another 30 minutes until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I used pepper, but did not add salt as both the broth and the tomatoes already contained salt. Serve over rice or egg noodles and garnish with sliced fresh basil leaves, if using. Add a green salad or vegetable (I ate Brussel sprouts) and you have a complete meal.

For a dinner party, grated parmesan cheese makes a great garnish to this dish. Pass it separately at the table and let folks add as they wish.

Chicken Provencale --- hearty winter fare

Chicken Provençal — hearty winter fare

To reheat portions, I would first fish out the olives. Add a bit of water (a tablespoon or two) to help re-fresh the rice or pasta and microwave, covered, on High for 3 – 4 minutes. Even better the next day.


One Response to “Savvy Simmer & Savour: Chicken Provencal”


  1. What’s Cooking? — Week beginning January 19, 2013 « Savvy Single Suppers - February 2, 2013

    […] Chicken Provencal served with egg noodles and steamed broccoli (I’m going to start with an Aylmer Tomato recipe as a base, but check out a few other recipes, like Ina Gartner’s, for some adaptations). […]

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