Have you ever cooked with lavender? I don’t do much cooking with edible flowers because I find them to be bitter. I tend to plant my flower for curb appeal vs. culinary delight. However, I have had a fascination with all things French since I was a petite fille. In fact, the first dish I ever cooked was Coq au Vin. Of course, some of the lure was asking my mom to buy me a bottle of wine at 14 and all the looks we got as I scoured the red wines at the wine shop in our part of Chicagoland.
The second French dish I cooked was a simple Poulet au citron et lavender, or lemon and lavender chicken, and I have been perfecting it ever since. The wonder of cooking with lavender is it tastes delicious in both savory and sweet dishes, but don’t use too much are it will taste like your grandmother’s soap.
Cooking with Lavender:
Most people prefer English lavender for cooking as it has a sweeter more flavorful leaf. I would agree with this for baked goods or sweeter dishes. However, for savory dishes I like using French lavender leaves. They have a green, slightly sage-ish lavender taste. Either way, just be sure to use lavender made for cooking.
👩🍳TIP: Dry lavender in the microwave. Clean the leaves and dry thoroughly. If wet it will not dry properly. Place between two paper towels and microwave for 2 – 3, minutes. It should be brittle and crumble easily.
Make the Marinade:
Crush 1 tablespoon of dried lavender and place in a small bowl with 4 tablespoons olive oil, 4 tablespoons sage honey, 2 sprigs of thyme and the zest and juice from 1 lemon. Mix well.
👩🍳 TIP: Any honey on hand will do. I like to cook with sage honey especially in savory dishes.
Place 2 pounds, about 5 pieces, chicken thighs in a large plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken making sure to coat all pieces. Seal and refrigerate allowing the chicken to marinade for at least 30 minutes, but ideally for 4 hours.
Roast the Chicken:
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and pour the marinade over the chicken. Yes, for once you do not need to discard the marinade.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes on the top rack of oven. Serve immediately.
Try serving it with spinach and sweet corn risotto.
- 2 pounds chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons sage honey
- 2 springs of thyme
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
In a large bowl mix the lavender, olive oil, honey, thyme, and lemon zest and juice.
Place the chicken in a large plastic bag and pour the lemon/lavender marinade over the chicken.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes – 4 hours.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven 400°F.
Place the chicken in a roasting pan and pour the marinade over chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Serve the chicken with the cooking juices poured over and around the pieces.