Author of Lion Heart & Alessio: The Victory Ride Series

Goût de France: Provencal Chicken Sausage

 Provencal Chicken Sausage

Our first three days in France were spent indulging in foods we don’t normally eat on a regular basis—like French sausage and cured meats, fresh from the Farmers Market. The varieties of sausage displayed at the open markets were unbelievable, offering a huge selection of flavors like herb, garlic, fennel, and pepper— just to name a few.

Market Day Sausage

Having our larger meal for lunch, like true Frenchies, we’d usually have a smaller market day meal at night. This usually consisted of cheese, sausage, cured meat, bread, olives, and whatever else looked good to us that day. But after three days of eating this way, my fingers swelled and I wondered if I’d have to have my rings cut off.

I guess the French have cast-iron stomachs or maybe they’re born with a special salt filter. One night my husband had heartburn so bad, we thought he might be having a heart attack! So after a few days of stress and discomfort, we took a break and tried eating a bit lighter for the next few days. Americans.

Although I love the taste of salty cured fresh meats, they’ve become an occasional indulgence. But my Provençal Chicken Sausage is a healthy alternative which eliminates the hard-to-digest sausage casing. I use this recipe all the time in a variety of dishes. It especially works well added as a topping to my Rustic Provencal Pizza, tossed in my Roasted Provencal Tomato Sauce, or in my Market Day Stuffed Mushrooms. No more swollen fingers or fake heart attacks for this crew. Bon Appetit!

Provencal Chicken Sausage Ingredients

1 lb. chicken breasts (about 2 large boneless breasts cut in chunks)

1 lb. chicken thighs (about 4 cut in chunks)

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

½ -1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 heaping tablespoon Herbs de Provence

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon freshly ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped

¼ cup chopped shallot (about 1 shallot)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus 2 tablespoons for sautéing)

Parchment paper for freezing

Provencal Chicken Sausage Directions

Grind chicken chunks in a food processor. Add rest of ingredients and blend until well incorporated, scraping the sides of bowl as needed. Mixture will be sticky.

 Raw Provencal Chicken Sausage

I prefer making this a day ahead and then storing it in the fridge to allow the flavors to marry. You can also store in the freezer to use at a later date.  Just divide the mixture in half, scoop each onto parchment, and then roll into a log. Twist ends of parchment to seal and label the logs. Place logs in a Ziploc and Freeze until needed. Each log should be about 1 lb.

Sausage in Parchment

When you’re ready to cook your sausage, add 2 tablespoons of EVOO to a heated skillet and sauté sausage by breaking it up with a spatula.  If you’re taking the sausage from the freezer, make sure it’s fully defrosted. Cook till lightly browned and heated through.

Provencal Chicken Sausage

Related Links

Rustic Provencal Pizza 

Provencal Tomato Sauce

Goût de France: Thanks, Mom!

Click here to check out Megan’s educational adventure book for kids ages 8-12!

Goût de France: Provencal Tomato Sauce

Provencal Tomato Sauce, Ingredients

I’m an Artist-Foodie-Creationista who likes instant gratification. And although I prefer eating fresh, homemade, all-natural foods, I don’t want to spend hours slaving in a hot kitchen. So I’m always seeking ways to simplify my recipes without sacrificing quality and flavor.

For instance, I’m generally against buying premade or packaged sauces. Nothing beats the fresh taste of homemade. But when it comes to making traditional tomato sauce, the extra steps of boiling, shocking, peeling, and seeding makes me want to run for the hills of Les Alpilles.

My Provencal Tomato Sauce recipe using sweet grape tomatoes is easy because there’s no need to spend time removing the skins, and their natural sweetness is unmatchable. Just roast them with some extra virgin olive oil and a little seasoning. Then grind them up in a food processor with some herbs. Don’t let the anchovy paste in this recipe scare you. It adds tons of flavor without a strong anchovy taste. Bon Appetit!

(Step 1) Provencal Tomato Sauce Ingredients

2 lbs. red sweet grape tomatoes cut in half (about 4 cups)

2 garlic cloves in skins

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

(Step 2) Provencal Tomato Sauce Ingredients

1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ tablespoon anchovy paste

2 garlic cloves, chopped

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Provencal Tomato Sauce Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut tomatoes in half. Toss Step 1 ingredients in a bowl to distribute oil and seasoning. Spread the mixture out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Provencal Tomato Sauce, Ingredients

Roast for about 15 minutes or until bubbly. Garlic will be soft.

 Provencal Tomato Sauce, Ingredients

When cool enough to handle, remove the skins of the roasted garlic. Transfer roasted garlic and tomato mixture to a food processor and add Step 2 ingredients. Pulse until well combined and smooth, scraping the edges with a spatula as needed. Pour sauce into a small saucepan and simmer on medium heat about 10 minutes, careful not to burn.

Provencal Tomato Sauce

Before serving, make sure to taste your sauce to see if it needs any extra seasoning! Use on top of my Rustic Provencal Pizza or toss with your favorite pasta. Sauce makes about 1 ¾ cup.

Related Links

Rustic Provencal Pizza 

Provencal Chicken Sausage

Goût de France: Thanks, Mom!

Click here to check out Megan’s educational adventure book for kids ages 8-12!

Goût de France: Rustic Provençal Pizza


I’m embarrassed to admit that my first meal out in foodie France was pizza. Like typical American travelers on-the-go, we were late. Having slept in and indulged in a large breakfast on our first day—then of course sightseeing and shopping—caused us to miss France’s punctual lunch hour from noon-2 pm. So when we plopped ourselves down in a brasserie  at a few minutes passed 2 and asked for 4 menus, we got a glare down the snauze and a recommendation to try Pizzeria Aldo around the corner.

As we we were leaving the brasserie, the waitstaff snickered amongst themselves, at our expense, and hollered, “Tell him Vinny sent you!”


The good news is that Aldo was quite friendly and happy to have our business. He wore bifocals that made his eyes appear freakishly large and greeted us with a smile.

He served us a rustic looking thin crust pizza that had been baked in a brick oven. The sauce was milder then we’re used to in the States and could have used a bit more kick. But the crust was tender and crispy. My husband prefers my spicier Roasted Provençal Tomato Sauce made with sweet grape tomatoes.

In my recipe remake, the pizza stone ensures a tender crispy crust. And to make it super easy I love using premade Naan bread! In the past I’ve always made my own crust, but once my husband and I discovered Naan, we use them more often.  Bon appetit!

Rustic Provençal Pizza Recipe

2, Naan Mediterranean flat bread
½ cup (divided) of my Roasted Provençal Tomato Sauce
Toppings optional (consider my Provencal Chicken Sausage or sautéed mushrooms)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced into half-moon discs
Red and yellow sweet grape tomatoes (about ¼ cup per Naan, sliced in discs)
Freshly chopped rosemary (about ½ teaspoon per Naan)
Large pizza stone

Place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 500 degrees. When oven reaches 500 degrees, carefully remove hot pizza stone from oven. Remember it will be very hot so use good oven mitts. Place the Naan’s on the hot stone. Top each Naan with ¼ cup of my Roasted Provençal Tomato Sauce.

Provencal Sauce

If you’re using toppings like my Provençal Chicken Sausage, add them on top of sauce.

Pizza Toppings

Evenly distribute sliced mozzarella over toppings.

Adding Cheese

Garnish with sliced red and yellow grape tomatoes. Sprinkle freshly chopped rosemary on top. *Reduce oven heat to 425 degrees and bake on bottom rack 20-25 minutes or until desired crispness. With a pizza cutter slice each Naan into four pieces (Serves about 4 people with 2 slices each). Serve with a side salad.

Recipe Remakes

Provençal Tomato Sauce

Provençal Chicken Sausage

Related Link:

Goût de France: Thanks, Mom!

Click here to check out Megan’s educational adventure book for kids ages 8-12!

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