Take the Family to France with Poulet Saute a la Paysanne Provencale

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I have found one of my new favorite dinner recipes and I am in love. If you love poultry and savory sauces, this is the recipe for you.

Vertical image of cooked chicken with herbs, tomatoes, and potatoes on a white plate, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

Lately, I have been obsessed with French recipes. Last year I reread Julie Powell’s book Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously in advance of an upcoming trip to France, and I eagered prepared by getting in the French mindset through food.

All I can say is that those classic recipes are classics for a reason.

I’m a fan of butter, but I was also pleased to discover that this ingredient isn’t used to excess in every single dish, as I suspected before I started preparing a lot of French dishes at home. This is a big part of the reason why I love this poulet saute a la paysanne Provencale.

There’s actually no butter in this rustic peasant dish at all, but that doesn’t mean it lacks flavor.

Vertical top-down image of a plate with potatoes and a cooked chicken dish seasoned with fresh herbs, next to a a blue towel and fresh tomatoes.

First, you start by breaking down a whole bird. Now, if you haven’t done this before, we have a whole guide on how to break down a whole chicken available for you. Don’t be intimidated, because it’s actually a lot easier that it might seem.

There’s something oddly satisfying about doing it yourself. You feel so accomplished when you finish, and even more of a sense of pride in whatever recipe you make with the pieces of poultry that you butchered at home.

Vertical image of tongs holding up a piece of poultry in a pot with other pieces covered in an herb and white wine sauce with tomatoes.

Next, you dredge those pieces that you broke down in some white spelt flour. By doing this, you get an extra crisp layer on the outside of each piece, which provides some really tasty texture.

That crispness comes in when you brown the pieces in olive oil. Make sure you really let the poultry pieces brown well on all sides. This is crucial, in order to lock in the juices, and it provides an outstandingly yummy texture.

Then you remove the poultry from the pan and make a savory sauce with white wine, meat stock, shallots, garlic, and tomatoes. It’s savory and just a little tangy and acidic, with a burst of fresh cherry tomato flavor.

Once the sauce is made, you add the chicken back to the pan, nestling each lovely piece into the sauce. This will continue to cook for a while, to really build those flavors.

Vertical image of two pieces of cooked chicken covered in an herbed white sauce next to tomatoes and potatoes on a white plate.

The final finish is a hit of parsley that lifts everything up with a bit of herbal freshness.

The result is a simple braised poultry dish that you will want to shovel into your mouth immediately.

Seriously, I feel like I could be in the French countryside when I sit down to enjoy this dish. Just give me a glass of wine and a big old plate of this recipe. Then leave me in France with the fields of flowers and I’ll be a happy lady.

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Horizontal image of two pieces of cooked chicken with an herb and white sauce next to cooked tomatoes and seared potatoes on a white plate.

Poulet Saute a la Paysanne Provencale

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Poulet saute a la paysanne Provencale is a deliciously simple peasant-style sauteed chicken dish that you can make at home.


  • 1 cup white spelt flour
  • 1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, or 4 medium plum tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Put the spelt flour on a plate. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season them liberally with salt and pepper. Dip them lightly in flour, coating each piece on all sides and shaking off any excess. Set aside.
  2. In a broad 3-quart saute pan or a 4-quart Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add the chicken pieces and sear them until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer chicken to a clean plate and set aside. Keep two tablespoons of drippings in the pan, and pour off and discard the rest.
  4. Add minced shallot to the pan and saute over low heat until golden. Add white wine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes, until reduced by half. 
  5. Add tomatoes and garlic to the sauce, and stir well to combine. Add chicken pieces back to the pan, nestling them into the sauce. Cover and cook over low heat for another 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Stir in the minced parsley a few minutes before the end of cooking.
  6. Turn off the heat, and let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: chicken, shallot, tomato, garlic, spelt flour

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep And Measure Ingredients

Cut one 4-pound chicken into 8 pieces: 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, and 2 bone-in breasts cut in half crosswise. If you don’t know how to do this, be sure to reference our article on how to break down a whole bird.

Note: you can save the wings and the backbone of the chicken to make homemade stock.

Peel and mince a shallot. You should have about 2 tablespoons total.

Horizontal image of a rectangular plate of raw chicken pieces, bowls of oil and seasonings, and a bowl of tomatoes on a gray surface.

Halve enough cherry tomatoes until you have 1 1/2 cups total. You can also use 4 medium plum tomatoes. If you go this route, peel, seed, and coarsely chop them.

Peel and mince one clove of garlic.

Mince enough flat leaf parsley leaves until you have 1 tablespoon total.

Measure the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

Note: I recommend using a dry white wine for this recipe, such as a sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or pinot blanc.

Step 2 – Dredge the Pieces

Place the spelt flour on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Pat the pieces dry with paper towels and season them all over with salt and pepper.

Horizontal image of dredging a raw poultry piece in flour on a black plate.

Dip the chicken pieces in the flour, coating them lightly on all sides and shaking off the excess. Set aside.

Step 3 – Brown Chicken

Place a 3-quart saute pan or 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat and coat the pan with the olive oil.

Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add all of the pieces in a single layer. Sear on all sides until golden brown, about 10 minutes total.

Horizontal image of searing poultry pieces in oil in a pot.

Transfer the pieces to a plate and set it aside. Pour off all of the drippings in the pan except about 2 tablespoons. You’ll use this reserved fat to cook the shallots in the next step.

Step 4 – Make Sauce

Add the minced shallot to the pan and let it cook over low heat until browned. Stir in the white wine and bring mixture to a simmer scraping up any fond stuck to the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook it down for about 5 to 7 minutes, until reduced by half.

Horizontal image of cooking a white wine sauce in a pot.

Stir in the tomatoes and garlic until combined.

Step 5 – Finish and Serve

Add the meat pieces back to the pan, and nestle them into the sauce.

Cover and cook on low heat for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Horizontal image of a pot with a chicken dish with tomatoes and an herb white wine sauce.

Stir in the parsley a few minutes before you are finished cooking, when the meat is almost cooked through.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the meat rest for a few minutes. Serve immediately.

What Side Dish Should I Serve with This Entree?

When it comes to side dishes to pair with this classic braised poultry dish, I love to keep things traditional and simple.

For me, that means sauteed green beans or garlic lemon baby potatoes. You could also go for mashed potatoes because they will soak up the sauce from the dish in such a delicious way.

Horizontal image of two pieces of cooked chicken with an herb and white sauce next to cooked tomatoes and seared potatoes on a white plate.

Alternatively, I’m all about serving this with a light side salad for a refreshing lunch.

For more chicken recipes to enjoy at dinnertime, here are a few delicious options from Foodal to try next:

What side dish will you serve with this braised poultry recipe? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back to rate the recipe once you try it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on September 7, 2012. Last updated on October 29, 2020.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

4 thoughts on “Take the Family to France with Poulet Saute a la Paysanne Provencale”

  1. It’s dark and rainy here today, and I’ve got a shawl tightly wrapped around my shoulders, and that chicken looks so tasty and warm and perfect right now. Also, I need to learn how to cut up a whole chicken. Also also, I like your stories.


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