Roasted Chicken with Fresh Herbes de Provence – Bistro Dinner at Home

Peaches in Red Wine

“Lyon is full of temperamental gourmets, eternally engaged in a never-ending search for that imaginary, perfect, unknown little back-street bistro, where one can dine in the style of Louis XVI for the price of a pack of peanuts.”

Roy Andries de Groot

Armed with several vegetable stand goodies I planned a simple Bistro–style dinner and with the exception of Sangria I adapted a few recipes that I had saved in my French recipe file.

The sangria (peaches in red wine) always reminds me of my father leaning over the sink carefully peeling peaches to toss into red wine, which of course was a good dessert and eventually morphed into numerous versions of sangria.  Today’s version unpeeled peaches, red and white wine, brandy and optional Pellegrino sparkling water or one of the citrus Pellegrino waters, just a little for some bubble action.

Our daily dose of summer thunderstorms sure puts grilling on hold to some degree for the time being, but armed with favorite recipes for “dinner in” I find that a roasted chicken recipe always takes the lead and tonight I have prepared fresh herbes de Provence from the “pathway” herb garden.  My lavender had no flowers but I did manage a few sprigs and seeds.  I swear I plant 2-3 plants every year, but I think the squirrels manage to find the hidden treats every time leaving me with little or nothing.   While I have an abundance of herbs to make the fresh herbes de Provence, there is a jar of dried available in the spice rack in the grocery store.

Herbes de provence

I was lucky enough to have spied replacement plants while I was out and about so I have two new plants to situate in an area hopefully not readily available to the little monsters.

A simple warm, potato salad dressed with capers, scallions, and mint dressed with a light vinaigrette and “Courgettes Grantinees” were great and easy side dishes for the roasted chicken.  I rinsed and dried a small 3.25 lb whole chicken, seasoned the inside with salt and pepper, some of the herb blend, stuffed in a peeled shallot and about ¼ of a lemon.  Truss the chicken, place a little butter and some of the herb seasoning under the skin, brush the chicken with EVOO, and season the whole chicken with salt and pepper and herb blend.  I roasted the chicken at 450° for 30 minutes; reduce heat to 350° roasted for another 25 minutes.  Allow to rest several minute before carving.

Chicken Provencal

Link to recipe that I adapted:

Patricia Wells’s Warm Potato Salad with Capers, Scallions & Mint

warm potato salad II

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (1 lb), scrubbed but not peeled
Juice from ½ a lemon
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 scallions, white part only, finely sliced
1/4 cup capers in vinegar, drained
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/8 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Bring the water to a simmer in the bottom of a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Place the potatoes on the steaming rack over simmering water, cover and steam until cooked, 20 to 25 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the lemon juice and mustard, whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly. Add the scallions and capers, and stir to blend. Salt and pepper to taste.

When potatoes are still warm but cool enough to handle, slice into 1/4” thin slices. Place potato slices in a large bowl, pour dressing over the potatoes, and toss gently to coat. Add the mint and gently toss again.

Courgettes Gratinées


Prep time: 10 min
Bake time: 
30 min

  • Zucchini (one per person is a good number, but it does depend on the zucchini and the person)
  • Olive oil (about 1 tablespoon per zucchini)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (about 1 tablespoon per zucchini)
  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash and dry the zucchini. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and then crosswise, if you want smaller pieces (I cut into about 2 inch pieces).   Place in a ovenproof baking dish, skin side down.
  3. Drizzle the zucchini with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon per zucchini toss to coat evenly.
  4. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and pepper and finish with the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for about thirty minutes. The zucchini are done when they are tender and the tops golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and serve hot.