Joyce’s Lemon Herb Marinade for Chicken

Sunday August 10, 2014

the inexpensive Weber Smokey Joe

My friend Joyce Converse invited me to dinner one night decades ago at her rented home over the coastal range in rural La Honda.

Joyce had her own set of power tools, that she really used for renovations like a slate kitchen floor and repairs, a great garden, and zest for living reflected in her plein air landscape painting.

I was so impressed that she had the little, short-legged charcoal grill going for dinner. On went her marinated chicken breasts and luckily I got the marinade written down since she is such a good cook, she just throws it together by instinct and doesn’t write any thing down. It has remained a favorite and is also good on fish or steak.

Serves 6


  • 6 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
  • 1 cup olive oil


La Honda sunset/oil by Joyce Converse

Place the chicken in a deep bowl or 2 plastic gallon freezer bags. In another small bowl, combine the Dijon, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. Whisk in the olive oil. Pour over the chicken, cover the bowl or seal the plastic bags, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning the chicken once. Lift out of the marinade. Cook as desired on the grill, under the broiler, or roasted in the oven. Discard the marinating liquid.

Marinating Time: 2 hours to overnight

Cooking Time/Doneness Temperature: 15 to 25 min, turning occasionally; 165°F

About Herbes de Provence

easy at the supermarket and excellent quality

Herbes de Provence is just like what it says it is, a mixture of herbs typically grown in the Provence area of France. The combination is kinda magical in the culinary sense. It just works. While local cooks just pick fresh herbs from their garden or the countryside and toss into what they are cooking, the dried mixture is a marketing brainchild and never existed per se in Provence cuisine. Herbes de Provence is a combination of predominantly rosemary, thyme, savory, and marjoram with a dash of tarragon tossed in, all herbs that show up in Provence cooking. There are many variations and proportions, including the addition of lavender, which is an American touch; you dont find it in French mixtures. In the 1970s the standard dried herb mixtures were formulated by spice wholesalers, including notably Ducros in France (now part of McCormick & Company) and travelers in the know always pick up a jar of Ducros when in France since it is considered the original blend. Here I just get McCormick. The classic pottery jar with the hand scribed label, from Auyseteirs du Roy (available at Williams-Sonoma and on is one of the trademark brands and you can use the little crocks after you empty it for serving mustards or storing other herbs. Herbes de Provence blends well with fish, meat, chicken, cheese, sauces, and vegetables like oven roasted potatoes and asparagus. It can be used by vegetarians and vegans. When grilling toss a pinch or two of herbes de Provence onto the coals when they are hot to perfume the air while cooking.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2014

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

Your Comments

0 comments Comments Feed

There are no comments yet, be the first!

Leave a Reply