1 small cock or hen per 2 - 3 portions
The chicken can be any small hen or cut up chicken pieces.
Take the chicken out of the fridge at least 1/2 hour before cooking in order for it to come to room temperature. This is really key when cooling any protein - eggs, meat or fish, as if you apply directly to heat from cold the meat will seize up and be much tougher.
Sprinkle your bird with Salt, pepper and dried herbs de Provence.
Heat 2 - 3 tbs of olive oil in a Dutch oven. Sear the whole chicken or cut op pieces on all sides until brown.
Add 1 chopped shallot, 1 whole julienned carrot and several cloves of garlic to the bottom of the Dutch oven - you don’t need to remove the chickens, just lift them up. Let these vegetables brown for 3-5 minutes on mes heat. You may need to add a bit more oil.
Deglaze the above with 1 cup dry white wine. Add 4 cups of vegetable stock ( see recipe under sauces), a bay leaf and some sprigs of fresh thyme.
You can add raw cut up potatoes and or fresh cranberry beans to make a thicker sauce.
Continue to cook on a low simmer for 50 -60 minutes with the top on. Check that it’s not boiling from Tim to time as it should remain on a low simmer. Remove the chicken and set aside.
(*wait a good 15 minutes minimum before carving - this alows the juices to go back into the bird.
While your birds are resting you can further reduce your sauce by continuing to simmer
on the stove top for 5-10 minutes. For a bit more elegance flambée your sauce with a dash of cognac. To do this strain the sauce into a low rimmed sautée pan, heat the cognac over the sauce in a ladle before adding it to the pan. Once your cognac is heated up a bit add it into the sauce pan whilst shimmying the pan - with a gas stove the cognac should ignite.
Serve the chicken with the sauce and a sprig of fresh thyme.
Note: Make sure not to leave Provence without some fleure de sel and herbs de Provence. As those two really make this dish. Fresh thyme and kosher sea salt are good substitutes.