This delicate herbs de Provence chicken has a light and flavorful lemon cream sauce that is perfect for your dinner tonight!
What Is Herbs de Provence Made Of?
Herbs de Provence is an herb mixture from southern France that was popularized by Julia Childs. While there are many different variations based on family recipes or region, they all have the same basic five ingredients: thyme, marjoram, savory, rosemary, and lavender.
You can buy this blend in the stores, or you can make you own herbs de Provence for better control over the flavors.
How To Get Crispy Skin
For this herbs de Provence chicken recipe, I chose chicken breasts, but chicken thighs works as well. Just make sure whichever chicken cut you choose still has skin on it.
To get crispy skin on the herbs de Provence chicken, remember that is is more important to cook it at a lower termperature than fast. If you try cooking it too quickly, you’ll burn the skin in parts while other bits are still sticking to the pan because they aren’t finished.
Place your large sauté or roasting pan over medium low heat and melt the butter. Place the chicken breasts skin side down into the hot butter and cook for about ten minutes or until the skin is golden brown.
Once the skin is golden, place the chicken into a preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes, or until a thermometer placed into the thickest part of the meat is 160°F. (The internal temperature should register 165°F for chicken thighs.)
Making The Lemon Cream Sauce
This lemon cream sauce relies on the ingredients working together to create a sauce.
After your herbs de Provence chicken is removed from the oven, transfer the breasts to a place to rest. Return the pan to the burner and pour in the sauce ingredients. Bring it to a bowl, then reduce the heat and let the sauce reduce by half.
Once reduced, carefully remove the pan from the heat. Remember that the handle will be hot from being in the oven! Place the two tablespoons of cold butter into the pan and swirl it in circles while it is melting. This will help the fat from the chicken and cream bind with the lemon juice.
Return the chicken and let simmer another minute before carving or serving.
Keep in mind that the butter will only bind the sauce for the original cooking. If you refrigerate and reheat leftovers, the sauce will need this process to be done again to re-emulisfy it.
Top Chef Tips
- Make sure you have an oven safe pan that goes from the cooktop into the oven. This helps preserve all the good flavors into the sauce.
- Smashing the herbs de Provence for this chicken recipe BEFORE cooking with it helps release some of the flavor. You can use a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin with the spices in a Ziplock bag.
- You can use olive oil instead of butter at the beginning, but not to emulsify the sauce at the end.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and also the sauce at the end. The flavors should build on each other, not be exclusive.
- Make sure the butter for the lemon cream sauce is COLD. If it is room temperature it will melt too quickly and not emulisify.
What To Serve With This Dinner
This herbs de Provence chicken is light in flavor, so stick with light side dishes. Especially if you can utilize ones that already use the flavors in your herbs de Provence blend. Here are some of my favorites to give a try:
Herbs de Provence Chicken Recipe
Since the herbs de Provence chicken simmers in the sauce, it helps keep the chicken juicy. If you have a probe thermometer that goes in the oven and can stay there, you’ll have the best control over the temperature to make sure the chicken doesn’t dry out.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Happy Cooking! 🙂
Creamy Herbs de Provence Chicken
- 1 Tablespoon herbs de provence
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 4 skin-on chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tablespoons cold butter
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a mortar and pestle or a Ziplock bag crush the herbs de Provence herb mixture until fragrant. Mix together in a small bowl with the heavy cream, chicken stock, lemon zest (not juice), and dijon mustard. Set aside
- In a pan over medium low heat, melt the butter. Place the chicken breasts skin side down into the pan and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the skin is a deep golden brown. Flip and pour the sauce and lemon juice into the pan.
- Transfer the pan into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken breast is 160°F.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer the chicken to a plate. Put the pan over medium heat and reduce the sauce by half. Remove it from the heat and swirl in the butter to emulsify the sauce. Return the chicken to the sauce, simmer for another minute then serve.