Sticky Honey Lavender Roasted Chicken

Lavender, rosemary, honey, oh my!

This recipe is brought to you by the queen 🐝 herself, @mom, who has the luxury of homegrown lavender and her own colony for the freshest of ingredients. I unfortunately don’t, but thankfully Physical GraffiTEA has dried lavender for $6/oz. You can order online. The lavender should be cooking quality (ie not the stuffing of your eyemask), so markets and tea places are a good bet.

The proportions here are quite ~fluid~. For reference, the proportions below are perfect for 4 thighs.

Ingredients

  • Chicken thighs, keep the bone and skin
  • Salt & pepper (I actually got lavender salt at the farmers market but I don’t think it really made a difference)
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (I think you could use a little more here depending on preference, I’ll explain below)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Butter

Side: Simple Garlicky string beans

  • Fresh string beans, cut tops and bottoms
  • Garlic, 2 large cloves
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F. Start by seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper and browning it briefly in an iron pan with some butter (or skillet and transfer), in the oven you’ll need something with tall sides for later. Note here, I made this recipe later for more people and tried to use a roasting pan and it didn’t really work, for some reason the iron skilled seems necessary to get the bubbly balsamic mess, I had to transfer the other legs to that one to finish cooking.

Once the oven is heated, put the chicken in for 20min.

Meanwhile, mix together all the seasonings (lavender, thyme, rosemary, pepper flakes, honey, and balsamic) in a saucepan. Put on medium heat and whisk together until its blended nicely (don’t cook too long because you don’t want to reduce the balsamic). Remove from heat and set aside.

Once the timer goes off, cover the chicken with 75% of the balsamic mix and put back in. Set timer for 10min. After, pour rest of mix over the chicken. From then on, I opened the oven every 5 min or so and there was a happy bubbly stickiness that I just continued to coat over the chicken using a ladle. Mid cooking bubbly stickiness below:

After the initial 20min of roasting, the recipe calls for only 20min additional, however I think it depends on your oven so I periodically cut into the chicken to check on it, I think it took about 60min total.

That’s it! Take it out, re-coat with the balsamic mix and you’re done. Side note on the pepper flakes: at some point I tried the sticky coating and there was a really nice kick to it, but that went away at the end so I think next time I would try with a bit more.

For the beans, I prepared them right after mixing the balsamic sauce. Boil them for ~5 minutes, keeping them a bit al dente because you’ll heat again. Meanwhile, chop garlic finely. Heat a sauce pan with a bit of butter and olive oil (tsp), add the garlic and cook, but don’t brown it. Drain string beans and add into the mix and heat through (about 4 more minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from here.

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