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This is a perfect dinner-party meal: chicken thighs or legs dusted in flour and roasted with shallots, lemons and garlic in vermouth and under a mantle of Herbes de Provence. They go crisp in the heat above the fat, while the shallots and garlic melt into sweetness below. You could serve with rice, but I prefer a green salad with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.


4 chicken legs or 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

2 teaspoons  salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

65-95gm plain flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence

1 lemon, quartered

8-10 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

4-6 medium-size shallots, peeled and halved

75ml cup dry vermouth

sprigs of thyme, for serving


1.      Preheat the oven to 200°C /400°F/Gas 6

2.      Season the chicken with salt and pepper

3.      Put the flour in a shallow pan, and lightly dredge the chicken in it, shaking the pieces to remove excess flour

4.      Pour the oil in a large roasting pan, and place the floured chicken in it

5.      Season the chicken with the Herbes de Provence.

6.      Arrange the lemons, garlic cloves and shallots around the chicken, and then add the vermouth to the pan

7.      Put the pan in the oven, and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, then baste it with the pan juices

8.      Continue roasting for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is very crisp and the meat cooked through – keep checking at this stage to ensure that the chicken does not overcook. The core temperature of the chicken should be 75°C.

9.      Serve in the pan or on a warmed platter, garnished with the thyme

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