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A Perfect French Roasted Chicken

Follow David Allen Scott on his virtual recipe journey of this French comfort cuisine dish and his review of Maria Zihammou’s cookbook. While a primarily renowned region for their abundance of fresh seafood, this classic roast chicken dish could rival those anywhere.

As David’s explains, “This is the first time I have reviewed a cookbook without holding it in my hands, to feel its heft, and how it actually reads with (and without) my glasses.” French Bistro, by Maria Zihammou with photographs by Åsa Dahlgren, is a real beauty, at least in the online proof sent to me by Skyhorse Publishing.

More on David’s delicious journey…

Roasted Chicken poulet bonne femme #TastesofProvence @CocoaandLavender

Poulet Bonne Femme

A simple one-pan main course of browned chicken, braised in apple cider and finished with cream.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people


  • 1 whole Chicken or the equivalent in your favourite cuts
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • to taste Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 100 gr / 3.5 oz Lightly salted pork belly
  • 10 whole Pearl onions if you count mine I used 13
  • 300 ml / 1 1/4 cups Dry Apple Cider try fresh from the farmer's market
  • 1 bouquet garni sprigs of thyme, parsley & bay leaf
  • 100 ml / 1/2 cup Cream
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Parlsey


  • Divide the chicken into eight pieces. (I used 8 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in.)
  • Flour, salt, and pepper each piece.
    poulet bonne femme @CocoaandLavender
  • Sear them in a pan with half of the butter, so the chicken gets a nice color all around.
    poulet bonne femme @CocoaandLavender
  • Transfer the chicken to a large pot.
  • Slice the pork belly into small cubes and sauté it in the pan in the remaining butter.
  • Peel the onions and add them to the pan when the pork begins to take on some color and become crispy. Continue sautéing until the onion, too, has browned.
    poulet bonne femme @CocoaandLavender
  • Pour in the cider and bring to a boil, without covering.
  • Tie together with cooking twine, the parsley, thyme, and a bay leaf to make a small bouquet garni.
  • Place the bouquet garni in the bottom of the pot and cover.
    poulet bonne femme @CocoaandLavender
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the cream and cook, uncovered, for about 10 more minutes, then garnish with parsley.
  • Serve with salad and rustic sourdough bread.


Serve this easy, satisfying chicken with a crusty hunk of bread, a salad, and glass of wine, I can think of no meal more satisfying.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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