Poulet Provencal (Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives)

They say it is spring, although you would not know it here in Wisconsin. I may hear cardinals and mourning doves in the morning, but what I see is snow and more snow, although patches of brownish-green grass have finally begun to show through here and there.

Easter began blustery with flurries and I had no idea what we'd eat for dinner. We are both still recovering from longish bouts with the flu and worse yet, suffering from acute cases of cabin fever.

Searching for a new way to make grilled tomatoes, I stumbled upon this wonderful recipe at Epicurious. Then I noticed it was from the March Gourmet, which for some reason I have two issues of - a good thing, because I can never get enough of this fabulous variation on chicken from the South of France. The recipe calls for all my favorites: tomatoes, garlic, onion, olives, herbes de Provence and fennel seeds. Did I mention chicken?

I added some potatoes to the vegetable mix to please my husband, and I stuffed a quartered lemon inside for additional moisture. These two ideas came from the readers comments on the Epicurious site.

This was possibly the best Easter meal I have ever made. I knew I did not want ham this year, and by happy coincidence, I'd picked up the chicken yesterday.

March was a trying month for me, with several big projects and an auto accident to cope with (I'm fine and my car is fixed already). But a good meal, some scented candles and bouquet of daffodils cheer me today.

Better days lie ahead. I am planning three trips, one for work and two for pleasure. Soon I'll be able to walk outside and enjoy warmer temperatures. Maybe.


Warmer and better days will come along. The chicken looks divine. I love the lemon inside our roast chicken - moisture and flavor!
Happy Easter Mimi.
Breadchick said…
Yes to chicken, spring and daffodils! I'm quite ready for it to be warm enough to putter in my garden.

Glad you are OK and your car is fixed already.

Happy Easter Mimi!
Mimi said…
Thank you, Tanna. I feel like I am nearly in the land of the living again, after spending more than a month as a flu-ridden zombie followed by a robot.

Thank you, Mary - I am ready, too and itching to get out there! Hope your day was great!
Like those beautiful daffodils, Spring is so hopeful. When I finally get through my pile of March magazines, I'll keep an eye out for this recipe. Looks wonderful.
Judy said…
Hi Mimi..So glad you are OK!! and I might add back to blogging. I have missed you. I have that same recipe earmarked from the March Gourmet. It sounds lovely and I'm anxious to make it. I kept kind of traditional for Easter with ham with a cognac brown sugar glaze (a Martha idea, Julia's french potato salad, roasted asparagus and deviled quail eggs. For dessert I cheated and made a run to Whole Foods for lemon mousse. What can I say!!! I'm hoping you have warm weather coming soon. I'll try to send you some sunshine. We are having 60's this week. I can feel spring fever coming on!!
Mimi said…
Lydia, I know what you mean. I am still on January's magazines. Although tonight I play to cuddle up with Cooking Light.

Oh, Judy, your meal sounds so good! Lemon cheesecake is perfect for Easter. Wish we had 60s here - it might get to 34. Thanks for the kind words.
lady jicky said…
Mimi you are sounding better and there is nothing better than a well cooked chook!
What did you have for dessert???
See how I get to the Important part of a meal! LOL
Mimi said…
Dessert? Fruit, in fact. We are being virtuous again, after indulging too much at the end of 2007.
Teresa said…
Wow, that sure looks delicious!
I have never tried lemon inside of a roasted chicken.
We had that cruddy flu/cold a month ago. It does hang on and on.
Welcome back to life!
Happy Easter.
dharmagirl said…
this looks delicious, mimi!

I made a Meyer lemon meringue pie for my Easter treat. A taste of spring when outside still shouts winter.

I'm glad to hear you're on the mend, and I look forward to warming Wisconsin days too:)
lady jicky said…
Oh Mimi - that is too good to be true! LOL
Betty C. said…
This looks absolutely delicious and simple too -- I have bookmarked the recipe. It sounds like it would work out well in my Pyrex chicken roaster!

Sounds like you had a nice holiday.

By the way, here are five places where it has been freezing and/or snowing for Easter: Northern France, here in Aveyron, much of England, Olympia WA and chez toi. We woke up to five inches today -- nice in a way because Easter Monday is a legal holiday here in France.
Mimi said…
Teresa, that big is awful isn't it. They say if you aren't careful it will come back.

Dharmagirl, I always crave lemon when spring starts to peak through...

LadyJicky, I swear it is true! I had half a pear and soe cheese.

Wow! Betty, who would have thought you would have snow for Easter? We still have it, and it is below freezing, but the sun is showing through.
Erika W. said…
I'm glad to hear that there is a return to normalcy. After losing a full week to that horrible flu, I'm looking forward to brighter days ahead.

The struggle to find something appealing to eat is very real though. Who would have thought that taste could vanish with a virus. Your chicken sounds lovely though, fresh, yet earthy, and maybe just the thing to try and kick this virus to the curb.
Mimi said…
Erika, it took me nearly three weeks to fully recover my appetite. My flu began on Feb. 21, and was still tiring me out on March 6! The next week, I was still tired. I wish I could have lost a bit more weight, but all I could do was lie around.
Christine said…
That is one beautiful roasted chicken, Mimi. I'm so glad you're feeling better now.
Mimi said…
Best chicken I ever cooked, Christine!
TNelson said…

Not sure if you'll get this or not since this recipe is from earlier this year but I have this chicken in the oven right now and it smells divine. I'll let you know how it turns out.

TNelson said…

The chicken was so good! Flavors we could taste after the meal was over which to me is one of the best parts of a good meal. We will be having this again.

The carcass and the drippings make a great soup broth, Trish!
Sydney Hotels said…
i haven't tried a roasted chicken with lemon either. yummy picture!!!
My table would look very mouth watering if i will put this in the center. Thanks Mimi.

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