Think French food has to be complicated? Think again. Jean-Christophe Novelli has created a simple recipe using chicken legs, peppers, fennel, tomatoes and olives that gives a true flavour of Provence.
Adjust cooking times according to the size of the chicken legs used.
4 chicken legs (cut through the joint to separate drumsticks and thighs)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp eau de vie (or Cognac)
3 shallots (sliced)
1 yellow pepper (diced)
1 whole fennel (diced)
1 sprig rosemary
crushed black pepper (to taste)
½ garlic bulb
1 courgette (diced)
1 sprig fresh basil
3 plum tomatoes (diced)
350ml dry white wine
2 tsp cornflour (mixed with 2 tsp cold water)
1 tbsp mixed olives
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Pasta or brown basmati rice (to serve)
1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan), 180ºC (non-fan), or gas mark 4.
2. In a deep pan with a lid, heat a little oil and sauté the chicken legs to seal and colour them. Set aside the chicken and pour off the excess fat from the pan. Return to the heat.
3. Pour the eau de vie into the pan, heat for 30 seconds, then ignite to flambé. Add the shallots, yellow pepper, fennel, rosemary, black pepper and garlic, then sauté for 10 minutes. At the last minute, add the courgettes with the torn basil and cover with a lid.
4. Return the chicken to the pan, add the tomatoes, white wine and cornflour. Cover and put into the oven for 20 minutes or more (depending on the size of the chicken).
5. Just before serving, place back on the hob and introduce the olives. Stir in the mustard, but do not let it boil. Serve.
6. Perfect with pasta or boiled brown basmati rice.