Julia Child’s Sautéed Chicken in Herbs with a Hollandaise sauce/Poulet Sauté Aux Herbes de Provence (Paleo, Gluten Free)

Julia Child’s Sautéed Chicken in Herbs with a Hollandaise sauce/Poulet Sauté Aux Herbes de Provence (Paleo, Gluten Free)

I had some plans for chicken soup tonight due to feeling a little under the weather but my husband forgot a couple of things at the grocery store so I had to change tonight’s dinner menu at short notice. I turned to Julia for inspiration and she did not disappoint with this wonderful sautéed chicken dish. Try and secure some fresh herbs if you can because it really does taste amazing.

Fresh garlic, thyme, basil, fennel

If you’re like me and don’t own a mortar and pestel kitchen set, you can certainly still grind your fennel seeds with just a sturdy glass.

grind your fennel

Prepare about 2-3 lb of chicken pieces. You can use both and dark meat but I had only thighs on hand today. Pat them dry.

chicken thighs

Heat up 1/4 lb of butter in a sturdy skillet. Because this sauce is later used for the hollandaise, I don’t recommend substituting with olive oil or coconut oil. Bacon grease, though, would work.

heat up butter

Turn chicken pieces over high heat in the butter for 7-8 minutes. You only want it to get a nice yellow color, not browned.

Turn chicken pieces in butter

If you have used white meat, at this point, you can remove the white meat. Then with the dark meat left in the skillet, season with the herbs and some salt and pepper. Also drop the garlic in the sauce.

Season pieces

Continue to cook slowly for some 23-24 minutes, turning the chicken and basting every 5 minutes. If you have used white meat, add these in for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Then remove your chicken from the skillet and keep warm.

Keep chicken warm

Mash the garlic cloves in the skillet and remove the peel.

mash the garlic

Add the wine and reduce the sauce to about half.

Add wine and reduce

In a sturdy smaller saucepan, whisk the egg yolks together until nice and thick.

Whisk egg yolk

Add the lemon juice and wine and whisk until nice and frothy.


Then whisk in the sauce from the skillet a spoonful at a time.

whisk in sauce

You should end up with a nice thick hollandaise sauce. Optionally, you can then finish with some more butter and fresh herbs just before serving.


Set the chicken pieces on a plate and spoon the hollandaise sauce over the chicken to serve.

Sauteed Chicken on plate

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) of butter or bacon grease
  • 2-3 lb of cut up chicken pieces, skin and bone-in
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp ground fennel
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP dry white wine
  • (Optional to finish hollandaise) 2 TBSP softened butter + 2 TBSP chopped fresh basil


  1. Heat butter in a sturdy skillet until it is frothing
  2. Saute chicken pieces in the butter, turning frequently for 7-8 minutes. We only want it to reach a deep yellow color, not browned
  3. If using white meat, remove the white meat pieces.
  4. Season dark meat with thyme, basil, fennel, salt and pepper. Add garlic and cover and cook for an additional 8-9 minutes.
  5. If using white meat, add it back to the skillet, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Continue to cook covered, turning and basting every 5 minutes for an additional 15 minutes until chicken is cooked
  7. Remove chicken pieces to a platter and keep warm.
  8. Use a spoon to mash the garlic, remove the peel from the skillet
  9. Add the 2/3 cup of wine to the skillet and boil at high heat until reduced to 1/2 the volume, scrapping any coagulated sauce.
  10. In a small saucepan, whisk egg yolks until thick and sticky. Then, whisk in lemon juice and  1 TBSP wine until frothy
  11. Add the sauce from the skillet by the spoonfuls and whisk well into the saucepan until you get a creamy hollandaise sauce
  12. Place saucepan over low heat and whisk until the sauce is warm and thickened. Optionally, whisk in the finishing butter and herbs and correct seasoning
  13. Place chicken pieces on a plate and spoon hollandaise over chicken pieces to serve.

Not bad for something I just looked up in a hurry, thank you Julia! I served this with a simple side salad and it was received favorably both by husband and toddler- Bon Apetit!

Sauteed Chicken with Hollandaise


  1. I made this tonite & it was good! I am just learning to cook meat so the chicken, while done needed to cook a bit longer to be more tender. I am a little confused by steps 9-10-11 making the hollandaise sauce. Step 9 says add the wine & reduce; what do you whisk with the egg yolk in step 10? which also says whisk in the lemon juice 7 WINE again? Then step 11 says add in the pan sauce?? Mine turned out ok. I made a half recipe, & I made fresh broccoli. The hollandaise sauce is awesome on the chicken AND the broccoli so I will double it next time. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Rita, glad you gave it a go!

      Step #9 is whisking in the 2/3 cups of wine to the pan
      Step #10 is whisking JUST egg yolks in a separate smaller saucepan
      Step #11 is whisking in the 1 TBSP of wine with lemon juice in the small saucepan of egg

      I will modify the page to make it clearer. Thank you so much for your feedback!!!