Of Herbs from Provence, & Roasted Chicken
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I am a total sucker for aesthetics – and that includes product packaging as well. For the same reason, I am so attracted to Morton & Bassett’s clean and minimalistic bottles, when I first saw them in San Francisco last January. Their herbs taste good too, of course! Whenever I go overseas, I will bring back bottles of herbs which aren’t sold in Singapore to add to my mini ‘foreign collection’, and they are mostly clear bottles. (My friend Joyce helped me lug back this bottle from her previous trip to Oregon. Thanks, girl!)
For this week’s WHB (which is hosted by Jugalbandi), my post features the beautiful herbs you see pictured above – the blend quintessentially used in French cuisine – Herbs from Provence, or Herbes de Provence in French. According to this site, It’s a blend which base must be made up of rosemary, thyme and bay leaf – without these it is not Herbes de Provence. Those sold commonly include many other herbs such as basil, tarragon, marjoram, savory, parsley, even orange & lavender. Herbes de Provence is a versatile blend which can be used to season chicken, vegetables & meat. You can add a teaspoon to marinades or vinaigrette recipes, or sprinkle on pizza, tomato, fruit salads, soups & stews. With such a varied and wonderful concoction of herbs and spices, the possibilities of dishes you can come up with it are delightfully limitless.
I really like the one I have because it comes with … lavender! Yes, how wonderful it is to have an element of purple stashed within a treasure trove of green. This site tells that “lavender is actually added more for the benefits of tourists who saw lavender fields as almost emblematic of the Provençe region”, and is not usually part of the traditional blend. Whether traditional or not, I’m really glad about the addition of lavender to the blend!
My bottle of Herbes de Provence comes to the rescue when I need to whip up a dinner of roasted chicken in a very short time!
I just glaze the chicken thigh with a layer of olive oil (so that the skin becomes crisp after roasting), after which I dry rub a generous amount of Herbes de Provence, topped with home-grown rosemary spigs, and leave it in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour to marinade. Next, I roast the meat in my oven (on combination setting) for 20 minutes. While waiting for the chicken to cook, I do my preparation for the side dishes. I heat up my grill pan & brush it with some butter, season the mushrooms with salt, pepper and grill the mushrooms for a few minutes each side till well cooked. Then I heat up some baked beans and pour them over.
Tip: Roast the chicken on a wire rack with a plate below so that the oil will drip down to the plate, resulting in dry, crispy chicken. The preparation time is only 5-10 minutes – so easy, quick & yummy!
What do you whip up with your bottle of Herbes de Provence?
More linkies about Herbes de Provence:
- Recipezaar (make your own)
- Encyclopedia of Spices (make your own + recipes)
- Sauteed Portobellos with Herbes de Provence (recipe)
- Wiki (info)
- About.com (info)
- The Perfect Pantry (photos, info and recipe)