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Archive for February 12th, 2008

 chicken-provencal1.jpg

I visited Provence, France, for the very first time a couple of years ago, and really fell in love with the entire region. The Mediterranean-influenced cuisine only enhanced my whole visit; it is healthy, regionally inspired, and flavorful. When I dream about returning, my mind floats back to some of the really simple and wholesome meals I ate. As a die-hard olive lover, this recipe does not disappoint, and includes nicoise olives, although you could use kalamatas in a pinch. Bon appetit!

Chicken provencal

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1  cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken broth

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

5 – 6 boneless, skinned chicken thighs

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 cup pitted nicoise olives

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Saute until softened. Add the wine, broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then add the chicken. Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the chicken is quite tender and beginning to fall apart.

Remove the bay leaf, and add the lemon zest and the olives. Stir, and serve with mashed turnips on the side.

Mashed turnips

6 medium-sized turnips, peeled and cut up into 2″ chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar, to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

Place the turnip chunks into a pot of boiling water, and cook for about 15 minutes, until soft.

Transfer turnips to food processor, and add the rest of the ingredients. Process until very smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Taste and correct seasonings.

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