There are few things I love more than a roast chicken. Something about this simple, yet hearty meal is so comforting, and is so easy to adapt to seasonal ingredients. This roast chicken with lavender and honey has the most perfectly sticky-sweet and salty flavor, and creates the most delicious pan sauce and gravy for the potatoes to roast in. If you’re not familiar with cooking with lavender, don’t worry about this being too “perfumed”. The lavender has a light herbaceous flavor that isn’t at all overpowering, and complements the dish nicely. This is seriously such a simple recipe, with the most incredible flavors that everyone is sure to love.
How to roast the perfect chicken
Like I said before, I love making roast chicken. But sometimes it can be a struggle to get the chicken to turn out perfectly juicy and flavorful. A while back, I picked up a tip from Emily Baird on how to make the perfect (and I mean perfect) roast chicken: just pat it dry, rub it down with salt, and roast it in a preheated skillet. That’s it. No joke. That’s really it. And yes, it is unbelievably flavorful. I know it sounds dubious but just… trust me. Try it. It comes out perfectly juicy, so flavorful, and with the crispiest skin. Not to mention a delicious pan gravy that you can add when serving!
Now as much as I adore this method of making chicken, I wanted to try and adapt it a bit to add some more seasonal flavors. This recipe starts out very similarly, with a patted-dry and salted whole chicken in a preheated pan. This allows the salt to work its magic in seasoning and tenderizing the chicken for the first half of the roast. For the second half, we will brush it down with the glaze, which adds the extra flavor, gorgeous color, and boosts the pan gravy. My best advice for perfect chicken? Get a meat thermometer, and don’t overthink it. The less you fuss with it, the better!
Cooking with lavender
Lavender is often considered an ingredient for sweet foods, but it also works fantastically in savory applications. It gets a bit of a bad rep sometimes for being overpowering, but it’s all just an issue of finding the right balance. In this roast chicken recipe, the honey and the lemon mellows the flavor of the lavender, so it is gently herbal, but not too strong. I can’t tell you how much I love it in this recipe!
Make sure the lavender you are using is culinary grade: you can find this from spice shops, and on amazon.
Tools you need for this recipe
You don’t need anything too fancy to make this recipe, although I do recommend having a meat thermometer to make things easier, especially if you are a little nervous about undercooking your chicken. I find that a simple probe thermometer makes everything SO much easier, and you can use it in other applications as well, like with baking bread, other meats, etc.
You will also need a roasting vessel or large skillet of some kind. I prefer to use cast iron for this, as it preheats nice and hot, and really helps get the crispy skin we’re going for. You can use a large cast iron skillet, or dutch oven for this. Just be aware that the size and shape of your vessel might affect how the potatoes fit in the pan, so I recommend using a 12″ cast iron, or something rectangular if possible. If you don’t have a cast iron, you can use any baking or roasting pan that is safe to use at 450°F.
Because of the sugars in the honey, this chicken will brown very quickly once glazed. You’ll want to tent it with tin foil after about 10 minutes in the oven with the glaze on, to keep it from getting too dark.
How to store this chicken
Store any leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. Leftover pan gravy will gelatinize when cold, so simply warm it with the leftover chicken and potatoes to return it to its original texture.
I hope you give this Roast Chicken with Lavender and Honey a try! Be sure to tag me on instagram so I can see your bakes, and leave me a comment below! Your feedback helps other bakers and home cooks who are giving this recipe a try, and I love hearing about your creations!