Provencal Chicken Stew

by katerina on November 8, 2012

Provencal Chicken Stew

I love recipes like this. Comforting recipes that you can start in the late afternoon and that will bubble away on your stove, fragrancing and warming your house until dinner time.

Provencal Chicken Stew Recipe

This particular chicken stew is inspired by the flavours of Southeastern France. Generally associated with summer, tomatoes, fennel and herbes de Provence make a wonderful rustic stew you can enjoy in the colder, rainier months.

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Provencal Chicken Stew

(serves 4-6)

1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
1 fennel bulb
1/2 cup white wine
4 yukon gold potatoes, medium sized
1 large can (800ml) whole tomatoes
4 cups water

Use a mortar and pestle to crush the fennel seeds. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and sprinkle the chicken with the fennel, herbs de provence and a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat a large dutch oven to medium high heat. Add the olive oil and brown the chicken thighs on both sides. Cut the fennel in quarters and remove the core. Dice.

Push chicken to the sides of the pan to make a hole in the middle and add the onion and fennel. Stir regularly until the onion softens slightly. Add wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits left on the bottom of the pan. Scrub potatoes and chop into large bite sized pieces. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer again and simmer for 45 minutes. If any scum rises to the surface skim and discard.

Remove the thighs from the stew, shred the meat using a pair of forks and returning meat back to the pot. Taste and correct for seasoning. Either serve hot now, or refrigerate for later. Skim fat off before reheating.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 45 minutes | Total Time:55 minutes
Calories(approximate per serving): 450

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue November 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Have you been looking in my refrigerator?? I have exactly these ingredients and was wondering what I was going to make with them in this blustery New England weather. I wanted something stew-y and comforting, and there was your wonderful post in my in-box. I’ll make it today and we’ll have it tomorrow, since these things always taste better the second day. Thank you!


katerina November 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

lol. Clearly I am some sort of elf who lives in your fridge! Agreed, that these things are always better on day 2…


ter November 8, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Where do you get “herbes de provence”, or what are they, or is there a substitute? You also haven’t told me how long to bake the spaghetti squash for a previous recipe. i am a novice/male cook trying to feed myself something other than Carl’s hamburgers.


katerina November 8, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Hi ter – I updated the recipe on the previous post. Will email you the details, maybe you missed my comment?

Herbes de provence are a dried herb mixed that usually combines lavender, thyme, fennel, savoury and basil. (Check out more here:

I can buy it at my local grocery store, both the gourmet and the regular. It is with the rest of the spices.

Good for you for taking on a new adventure!


Lisa November 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I made this over the weekend. LOVED IT! One question- when you say ‘a fennel bulb’, do you mean to just use the bulb part? I didn’t know if I should use the greens and stem as well? In this case I didn’t. I have never cooked with fresh Fennel before. Do tell!! Thanks for the delicious recipe! ~L


katerina November 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I usually remove most of the green and just use the white bulb as well as the top white parts. The “fronds” or wispy green bits can be used similar to dill. If you want a use for the top green parts, try adding to a stock.

Very glad you enjoyed!


Gem August 2, 2013 at 11:51 pm

8 months later….
Made this last fall when the recipe appeared. It’s been in the freezer since. Took it out and had it for supper tonight; fabulous! We ate and ate and never got “stuffed.” We think it was the clear (vs. a thickened) broth that made it rich but light. Flavor and aroma were quite nice. This is a keeper!
Afterthought: I shred chicken, pork, & whathaveyou with my fingers instead of a pair of forks. Must be a coordination issue with me, but the stuff gets shedded none the less.


katerina August 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Awesome! I love that you made it and froze it without eating it. Too funny.

For me it depends on how hot the meat is, your fingers are totally the best tools, but not everyone can handle the heat.


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