Sometimes you just need a meal in your back pocket. Herbes de Provence Skillet Dinner is that meal for me.
We always have potatoes and onions on the countertop, and the refrigerator is rarely without a leafy green and jar of olives. Toss them together with some marinated chicken from the freezer, and dinner is ready in a snap!
The Best Chicken for This Recipe
Skip over split breasts and boneless skinless chicken breast halves for this recipe. You want thinly sliced chicken breast, chicken tenderloins or chicken tenders.
A thick breast would take too long to cook, and your vegetables would be overdone by the time the chicken finished. The thinner cut also gives you better seasoning distribution because more of every bite is coated with marinade.
Shopping for the Vegetables
Potatoes: I use small golf-ball-sized baby or b-sized potatoes because I want them to cook quickly. You can use larger potatoes if that’s what you have on hand, just cut them into rough half-inch cubes.
Swiss Chard: I love Swiss chard because it has a very slight earthy flavor similar to beets but not as strong. Try to find chard with white stems. If you use rainbow chard with red or yellow stems the color will leech into the sauce and you will have pink or yellow sauce. If you don’t mind colorful sauce, then by all means get crazy with the rainbow chard. If Swiss Chard isn’t your thing substitute chard for spinach.
Olives: It may seem strange to add olives and potatoes together, but they are match made in heaven. I buy whole pimento stuffed Spanish olives and slice them in half, but I think this would also work well with Queen Olives or Kalamata Olives, just make sure they are pitted.
Swap the vegetables as needed! If you don’t have the vegetables I used on hand, don’t worry about it! Serve the chicken with a side salad over pasta or with a vegetable of your choice. Anything goes!
Season the Vegetables at the End
Toward the end of the recipe, remove the chicken and tent it with foil. It’s easier season the vegetables and coat them in additional spices and butter once the chicken is removed. Don’t worry you’ll put everything back together before bringing dinner to the table.
The Best Skillet to Use
You’re packing a lot of food into one skillet. It’s best to use a 12-inch skillet (measured across the top) to ensure you have enough room for all of the chicken and vegetables.
How to Make Ahead and Freeze
Stock up on chicken when it’s on sale. Commit 10 minutes to label the bag and make the marinade. Toss the marinade and the chicken in the bag. Freeze it flat to save on freezer space.
Rest easy because the chicken tastes great with or without the vegetables! When a busy workweek hits, take the chicken from the freezer to the fridge in the morning. When you return home from work you can have chicken on the table in under 30 minutes!
- Use a gallon-size freezer bag that you press to seal rather than those with a zipper slide.
- Write the date, name of the recipe, and SimplyRecipes.com so you can easily find the recipe later.
- Add the chicken and marinade ingredients to the bag.
- Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag and close it.
- Smoosh around the chicken until its well coated in marinade.
- Lay flat to freeze.
This will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months, and up to 48 hours thawed in the refrigerator.
Not a planner? No biggie! You could still make this whole dish start to finish in one night and have dinner ready in 40 minutes or less.
More Great Freezer Meals!
- Italian Skillet Chicken with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Onions
- Baked Ziti
- BBQ Meatloaf Bites
- Baked Chicken Taquitos
- Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili
- For the marinade:
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders, tenderloin, or thinly sliced chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- For the vegetables:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds B-sized or baby potatoes
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- A few cracks of freshly ground pepper
- 2 handfuls (2 packed cups) Swiss chard or spinach
- 1/3 cup halved pimento-stuffed Spanish olives
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Label the bag:
Use a sharpie to write the date and title of the recipe on a gallon-sized zip top bag so you can easily find it on SimplyRecipes.com when you want to cook it. Alternatively, write the cooking instructions on the bag, and date it.
Combine the ingredients:
Roll down the opening of the bag a little just so you don’t accidently get raw chicken juices on the outside of the zip top. Add the chicken, spices, zest, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. Smoosh the chicken around so it’s coated in the marinade.
Lay the chicken flat in the freezer and freeze for up to 6 months:
Alternatively, you could skip the freezer and let it marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours and up to two days, then cook it according to the directions below.
Thaw the chicken before cooking:
When ready to cook, take the chicken out of the freezer in the morning before you go to work, and it will be ready to cook by the end of the day.
Prepare the vegetables:
If the b-sized potatoes are larger than a golf ball, quarter them; if they are smaller just half them. Slice the onion. Wash the Swiss chard, remove the stems and chop them. Then cut the leaves into strips about an inch thick. Cut the olives in half.
Cook the chicken:
Set a large skillet over medium heat add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Once the oil shimmers and the butter melts, add the chicken and any marinade in the bag.
If any chicken is folded up, unfold it so it lays flat in the pan. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes, then flip it.
Add the vegetables:
Add the potatoes, onion, and 1/4 cup water to the pan with the chicken. Cover with a lid. Let everything simmer together for about 10 minutes.
Finish the potatoes and make the sauce:
Remove the chicken to a plate (leaving the vegetables in the skillet) and tent with foil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a few cracks of freshly ground pepper to the skillet. Stir the potatoes, cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
Turn the heat up to medium high to reduce the liquid and finish cooking the potatoes uncovered. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes depending on how much liquid is in the pan.
When you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, add the chard leaves and chopped stems, olives, and red wine vinegar. Toss gently until the greens are just wilted.
Nestle the chicken back into the pan. Bring the whole thing over to the table and serve.