Why I Love This Recipe
All I can say about this is: fall-off-the-bone. It's a braised dish, start it on the stove and finish cooking in the oven. It's simple, aromatic, and as the name implies, evocative of Provence, where this dish originates. My version comes from Cook's Illustrated, and I've never heard a complaint from anyone who's tried it.
NOTES: As an alternative, you can make this dish with Saffron, Orange and Basil substitutions.
It might seem like a lot, but once you're prepped, it goes together fairly quickly. I like all chicken thighs for this, but feel free to substitute if you like - just be aware that white meat and dark meat cook differently. The recipe says to discard the chicken skin, but I don't know why you'd ever want to toss something so delectable. I call it a snack while the pot's in the oven. Always serve this with crusty bread to soak up the sauce - it'd be a crime to waste it.
Ingredients You'll Need
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 lbs), trimmed of excess skin and fat
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine (about 2/3 c)
6 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced (about 2 tbsp)
1 anchovy fillet, minced (about 1 tsp)
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 c dry white wine
1 c chicken broth
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 bay leaf
1 tsp herbes de Provence (optional)
1 1/2 tsp grated zest from 1 lemon
1/2 c nicoise olives, pitted
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees.
Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt.
Heat 1 tsp oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add 4 chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook without moving them until skin is crisp and well browned, about 5 minutes.
Using tongs, turn chicken pieces and brown on second side, about 5 minutes longer; transfer to large plate.
Add remaining 4 chicken thighs to pot and repeat, then transfer to plate and set aside.
Discard all but 1 tbsp fat from pot.
Add onion to fat in Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until browned, about 4 minutes.
Add garlic, anchovy and cayenne; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add wine and scrape up browned bits from pan bottom with wooden spoon.
Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, oregano, bay and herbes de Provence (if using).
Remove and discard skin from chicken thighs, then submerge chicken in liquid and add accumulated chicken juices to pot.
Increase heat to high, bring to a simmer, cover, then set pot in oven; cook until chicken offers no resistance when poked with tip of paring knife but still clings to bones, about 1 1/4 hours.
Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to serving platter and tent with foil.
Discard bay leaf.
Set Dutch oven over high heat, stir in 1 tsp lemon zest, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.
Stir in olives and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, mix remaining 1/2 tsp zest with parsley.
Spoon sauce over chicken, drizzle chicken with remaining 2 tsp olive oil, sprinkle with parsley mixture and serve.