Honey Lavender Roasted Chicken

Honey Lavender Roasted Chicken
Roasted chicken with honey, lavender, thyme and garlic
I've never cooked with lavender before. I'd purchased the lovely dried flowers on a whim. They smelled divine and I had vague ideas of making lavender macarons or lavender ice cream, but once I had them in my possession, I couldn't figure out exactly what I should do with them. So they sat in my pantry, waiting to be used, until I caught an episode of Little Paris Kitchen on the Cooking Channel. Rachel Khoo is adorable and in the episode I watched, she made the most lovely looking roasted chicken with honey, lavender, thyme and garlic, and I thought, "That's It! That's what the lavender in my pantry has been waiting for...."

Boozy Epicure's Honey Lavender Roasted Chicken For Two
This recipe was inspired by that episode, at least what I remembered from watching it. I'm sure I've changed the proportions slightly, but here's what I did tonight. I had half a chicken left over in my freezer, so I pulled it out the night before to thaw. If you are making this for 4 and want to use a whole chicken cut up, I wouldn't double the marinade since it makes more than you really need. Instead, if it is a small chicken, keep the exact same amount of marinade. If it a large chicken, just increase the marinade ingredients by 50%.

Half a chicken, separated in two pieces (breast/wing and drumstick/thigh, you can separate all the pieces but I thought mine would cook more evenly if I kept it as two large pieces)

Marinade Ingredients
2 tsp dried lavender (you can use more if you like, the first time I used a whole tablespoon and it was a little too much)
1 tbslp fresh thyme leaves 
1 tbslp minced garlic (I did 3 cloves through the garlic press)
1/4 cup honey
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt

Place the lavender in a large ziplock bag and beat it with a rolling pin to get it broken up. Dump the crushed lavender into a bowl and mix in all the rest of the ingredients to build the marinade.

Marinade ready.
Dump the marinade back in the ziplock and add your chicken pieces. Massage the marinade into the chicken, making sure it is evenly coated, then place the bagged chicken on a plate and leave in your fridge to marinate at least 30 minutes. I read that the max marinade time is 4 hours, which makes sense since there is lemon in the mix.

Marinade in the bag.
Chicken added and coated.

When you are ready to move on, preheat your oven to 400 F and pull the chicken out to take the chill off. Once the oven is preheated, put the chicken on a roasting pan or sheet tray, pout the leftover marinade on top, and roast the chicken for 40 to 45 minutes, until the skin is very brown and the internal temperature is 160 F. By this time your house will smell like heaven, sweet, floral and savory all at once. Rachel suggests dipping bread in the pan juices, they are divine, but I've found this chicken goes along very well with just about any plain side dish.

Chicken ready for roasting.
After 20 minutes. I basted the chicken with the pan juices, yummy.

The finished chicken, ready to devour.

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