Simmering in Milady's Cauldron : Chicken with Honey, Lavender, Sweet Curry, Onion and Lemon
This is the easiest recipe ever...and one of the loveliest using lavender , one of my very favorite herbs. I kid you not, you can whip this up in five minutes...bake it for an hour and everyone will think that you're amazing. I love it, because in the dead of winter this dish will make you feel as if you're lucky enough to be living in Provence and in the summer it's an absolutely warm, oozing honeyed bliss on the end of your fork. If a recipe could have a vibe this one would be love....we can definitely attribute that to the lavender and the honey which promotes such sweetness. The lemon, onion and curry makes this recipe as sunny tasting as can be. The whole recipe doesn't contain a even a dollop of added fat...a real plus!
Lavender is one of my favorite herbs and I love using it in recipes whenever I can. I grow quite alot of it in my gardens, both in containers and in the ground. I enjoy Lavendula Augustifolia for cooking, most notably the variety called Munstead, which I think is sweeter than many of the others,reminding me almost of a alvender scented Meyer lemon. Remember that Lavender likes sunlight and well drained soil. Not to wet, not too dry...That's what should keep your lovely plants happy all summer long!
I've noticed that when I put it into a recipe like this that my dreams are sweeter and I relax into sleep so much easier. On a purely feminine note, I've also noticed that it cools down my hot flashes... a real plus. I'm sure that this is because lavender can adapt to almost any physical situation and has the ability to promote relaxation during the most stressful situations and imbalances. One of my favorite teas when I've got the blues is a infusion made from Lavender (make sure that you buy culinary lavender), linden leaves and flowers (a blissful nervine that is so relaxing), about 1/2 a cup of fresh pear juice, raw honey and lemon . Just take 1/2 cup of each of the herbs and put them into a warmed teapot (put in some really hot water ,let sit for a few minutes and dump it out) along with the pear juice, the juice of one lemon and at least 4 tablespoons of raw honey. Add water that has been brought to a boil and then cooled to about 180 degrees. Stir once and let it steep for at least 4 minutes. Find your prettiest teacup and pour yourself a cup through a tea strainer. Add some shortbread and find a comfortable chair, your favorite magazine and a soft blanket. The magic will happen with the first few sips and very quickly you will find yourself so relaxed that you'll probably be napping as soon as you've finished the first cup! Don't worry about wasting it, leftover it's wonderful iced tea!
To make this chicken is sinfully simple. Buy one cut up organic roasting chicken. Thinly sliced a large spanish onion and place 3/4's of it on the bottom of a roasting pan. Lay the chicken on top of the onion and then sprinkle the rest of the onion among the chicken pieces. Salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with a sweet curry (this is my favorite, but any will do as long as it's not too strong). In a bowl mix the juice of two lemons, 1 heaping tablespoon of culinary lavender ( no more or it will taste soapy!), 2 tablespoons of orange blossom infused (another potent love philter:) balsamic vinegar and 1 cup of raw honey. Whisk it all together and pour it all over the chicken pieces. Marinate for about thirty minutes and then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You'll know when it's done because the chicken will be golden and the onions will be caramelized and decadent.
Serve this on your prettiest china with a salad or simple grain like an herbed quinoa and some haricot vert (thin green beans) and a lovely chilled pear hard cider.I don't really like to drink wine with this dish because any of the more tannic varieties will not play well against the lavender but the honeyed sweetness of a good fruit cider will be perfect.
Then light the candles, sit back and take a bite. Let the honey and lemon explode on your tongue and let the dreams of Lavender fields on a French summer's eve whisk you away to the most relaxing state of mind.
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