Praise the Braise! Get Cozy with Provençal Cooking

Honestly, we would not be surprised if the word “rustic” was actually created for Provence, the region of southeastern France known for its picturesque countryside and hearty, no-fuss cuisine—if it’s completely synonymous with earthenware cooking vessels bubbling away with fragrant herbs and rich meats, destined to be ladled out without a care for finesse or presentation, served simply with a ruby pour of deeply tannic wine. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist. French food is just so… charming). At Plated, we’re never not into it (see: this recipe).

One dish that effortlessly fits this ultra-comforting scene is daube, a stew of beef cooked in red wine with vegetables, herbs, or spices until fall-off-the-bone tender. It’s typically made over hours or days, in a bulbous terracotta pot called a daubière that’s designed to trap condensation and prevent evaporation, infusing the meat with concentrated flavor throughout its low and slow steam. This is also the general idea behind a common braise (this Plated recipe will do the trick)—though in this technique, the meat is lightly fried or seared first for a just-caramelized exterior that locks in fat and flavorful juices.

If this has made you quite hungry—and that was the goal—you’re in luck. Right now, you can order the Plated version. Our ready-in-under-an-hour twist starts with a quick golden sear on chicken breasts, which are layered over hearty rainbow carrots for a cozy braise in chicken stock and a good measure of white wine. Sound indulgent yet effortless? Yeah, you’re going to want it.


Want a little more info on Plated’s delicious Provençal Chicken Stew?

Provence sits on the southern coast of France, drawing from the bounty of the Mediterranean Sea with a little influence from the eastern border it shares with Italy. Much of the irresistible fragrance and lighter flavors in our version come from tart-sweet navel orange wedges and whole herbs, plus dashes of warming cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. In the Plated recipe, you’ll taste a little brininess from green Castelvetrano olives, and some sticky sweetness from chopped dates, which plump and soften in the braising liquid. This technique, known as reconstituting, preserves some chewy texture while drawing out concentrated flavor from dried foods like fruits or mushrooms.

All of these aromatic, sweet, salty, buttery ingredients leach into the sauce, which is slid back on the stove once more to reduce and thicken slightly before serving. No drop is wasted thanks to a base of fluffy Moroccan couscous, a nod to Provence’s proximity to North Africa.

If you need further convincing (indulge us), this one-way ticket to warmth and comfort requires just two cooking vessels—one of which is not the special daubière—and looks delightfully appetizing no matter how it’s plated. The fresh chive garnish will add just enough artistry to an already eye-catching, colorful, and, dare we say it, rustic display. So go ahead, order it and be happy.

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