Last night, we were thinking French! I have not spent too much time there, mainly I have only passed through the airport in Paris. The experience left me horrified and deeply interested in doing a documentary film about the grossest airport bathrooms in the world. Seriously never seen anything like it….. Fortunately, some of the most traditional French flavors are incredible, unlike the cleanliness in the Paris airport bathroom. This little recipe is often made with a whole chicken and frequently it is baked in the oven rather than grilled. I have to say I personally really enjoyed grilling it.
The process is pretty simple. You add the honey, and the olive oil to a bowl, then you grate in the lemon zest. You then juice the lemon, and add however much of the fresh lemon juice you like to the mixture in your main bowl. To deal with the lavender, use a mortar and pestle to mash it up and add it to the main bowl.
Here is a good point to make a note not all lavender is created equal! Please take care, when you go to purchase your lavender that it is organic and food grade lavender. Frequently, lavender is used to scent different things. Often in such cases it is not intended as an edible and is treated with pesticides and other chemicals. So please, be choosey and use the food grade dried or natural lavender.
Next step is to put in your thyme and whisk it well with a spoon or mixer of some sort. Make sure you really do a good job the better mixed this is the better your food will taste. This is also when you get to tweak things. You can add a little more honey to balance the lemon or a little more lavender though be careful again with the lavender as it is easy to go overboard and a lot is really unnecessary as it is a powerful flavor.
Once you have got everything well mixed together wash your chicken dry it and cut it up if you are doing a whole chicken. If not just clean your chicken breast or chicken schnizel or whatever bit of chicken you are using and place it in a bowl or tupper ware. Pour your marinade/ barbecue sauce in on top of it. Let it sit for at the very least an hour or 2. (though for thin slices of chicken such as schnitzel half an hour to an hour might be better.) Heat up your grill. Put your chicken on the grill and barbecue as you always do and make sure to baste your chicken several times with your yummy sauce. Make sure to cook it till it is done. You really don’t want to be eating uncooked meat. If you like, while you are basting and grilling your chicken till it is done, you can add a pinch of salt to taste.
The aroma you will smell will be incredible. Seriously, It is really amazing. I can’t say enough about that beautiful smell. The lemon, lavender, thyme, honey, and olive oil…. Uhhh to kill for. If only I could bottle it. Smells so good.
If you are instead baking it, set the oven to about 200 to 220 and bake for if doing a whole chicken, about 45 minutes or to whatever the standard time is to fully cook whatever chicken portion you are making. You can add a pinch of salt to taste if you wish. You should also baste your baking chicken regularly as it cooks.Pour a little of the remaining sauce over your chicken once it is done and garnish it, at the end with a couple of sprigs of parsley for lovely presentation. You can serve it beside a beautiful fresh and crisp garden salad or potatoes.
Then just sit there and wait for that unearthly smell as you prepare a side dish to go with it, such as a fresh garden salad, and/or some boiled potatoes. That is really all this chicken needs. It really does sparkle. When you finally sit down to eat it your mouth gets wowed once again by the flavor of that beautiful aroma. It smells like French summer time and tastes like french country side bistro up in the south of France. Unbelievably yummy. It might be nice to eat this fabulous French chicken with some French white wine, or try the Spa Water that I have also published on this blog if you aren’t in the mood for something alcoholic. It goes really well with either of these drink options.