After the chaos that is Derby week here in Kentucky, I am 100% all about simplicity right now. Sunday is Mother’s Day and I’m cooking for six (you can see my planned tablescape over here), and I wanted to make something that is easy but memorable. I’ve always been a fan of French cooking for the very reason that it utilizes simplicity without sacrificing taste or presentation. When planning this menu, my main goal was to be able to spend as much time with my family as possible — and as little time in the kitchen as necessary. I also didn’t want to spend hours cleaning up afterwards, so this one-pan chicken dish seemed like the perfect choice for the main course.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in the garden, and as I was walking through smelling the lavender and thyme it immediately made me crave herbs de provence. You can use this mix on so many thing: lamb, fish or chicken — it’s even great in a plate of olive oil as an accompaniment for freshly baked bread.
Also, making a meal that is as locally sources as possible is important to me. Here in Lexington we have a few amazing farms that raise all organic beef and poultry so I picked up two whole chickens from Elmwood Stock Farm. My daughter and I cut the herbs fresh from the garden and were lucky to find some early green beans at the Farmer’s Market. It was a great morning out with my daughter and I love to see her get as excited as me about the ingredients and where we found them.
Back in the kitchen, it’s really as easy as chopping a few items and throwing them all in the pan — checking back from time to time to baste and watch as the chicken crisps to a delectable golden brown. After letting the chicken rest for a few minutes to cool, it’s just a matter of putting some serving utensils in the pan and then straight to table it goes. My husband will usually slice it up for each plate and we get to kick back with a refreshing glass of Graham Beck Chenin Blanc and enjoy our meal. I hope your Mother’s Day is a joyous and wonderful one with you and yours!
Herbs de Provence Roast Chicken
1-2 whole chickens, cleaned
1 1/2 lbs green beans
10 ounces grape tomatoes
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 lemon, sliced
1 lb small white or red potatoes, quartered
1/4 C white wine (cooking wine is fine)
1 tsp lavender, chopped
1 T thyme, chopped
1 T oregano, chopped
1 T rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400º. In a large baking pan, rub the chicken with olive oil and half the herbs; then place lemon slices on top of the chicken. Cook for the suggested amount of time per pound, basting periodically in its own juices. In a separate bowl, toss the remaining herbs with the green beans, tomatoes, onions and potatoes, in olive oil and white wine. Add this mix around the chicken and place back in the oven, stir often and baste the chicken with juices from the pan. Once the chicken and potatoes are cooked through, remove the pan and let cool for a few minutes. Then serve and enjoy!