Wine-Braised Chicken Thighs with Bacon and Peppers

I don’t argue with Justin, since he’s a big, tall guy—but more so because he’s a great chef who has learned to embrace spices in a variety of cuisines. This recipe shows that lavender can be a great addition to many dishes, including braised chicken. A lot of people eschew dried herbs in favor of fresh, but this recipe shows how they can be better in slow-cooked dishes.

Luberon N.4 – Recipe by Justin Smillie, from “The Art of Blending” by Lior Lev Sercarz

Makes 6 Servings


12 bone-in chicken thighs, with skin

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons Luberon N.4 spice blend, divided

3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch pieces

2 small red onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

10 Peppadew peppers, cut into ¼-inch slices

2 cups white wine

2 cups chicken stock

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

3 tablespoons thinly sliced preserved lemon


  1. Season the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons of Luberon spice blend. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  1. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels, leaving the fat in the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive and add the chicken, skin-side down (you may need to work in batches). Cook the chicken until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter, leaving the fat in the pan.
  1. Add the onions, garlic and 1 tablespoon of Luberon to the skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Deglaze with the wine, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon.
  1. Return the bacon and chicken to the skillet and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the Peppadews, cover and continue simmering until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes longer.
  1. Stir in the parsley and preserved lemon. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.