French Chicken

Wow them with lavender! Cooking with lavender adds a zesty zing to your poultry. Combined with a blend of savoy herbs and sage honey you have a deliciously beautiful creation.

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.

We serve ours with a spinach and sweet corn risotto.

French Chicken

Cedar Oak Farms
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Marinade 4 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs


  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons sage honey
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, destemmed
  • 1 lemon, zested & juiced


  • In a small bowl crush the lavender. Add the olive oil, sage honey, thyme, zest, and juice. Mix well.
  • Place the chicken in a large plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken, seal bag, and swish the marinade around thoroughly coating the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but aim for 4 hours.
  • Place the chicken in a roasting pan and pour the marinade over the thighs. Season with salt and pepper. Bake on the top rack in a 400°F preheated oven for 45 minutes. Serve immediantly.
Keyword Chicken

11 thoughts on “French Chicken

  1. Ella,

    What a rustic looking dish! The chicken looks divine and that risotto with the corn is a sweet kiss to the senses. And no, I never thought to use lavender in a recipe. Sachets? Sure. Detergents? Why not. Candles, of course.

    And then you go PhD on us and change everything. Aaaagain.

    1. Hahaha! Oddly enough I buy no lilac scented items. Never cared for the smell…but, now cooking with it! That adds a layer of flavor that is like no other.

      Thank you, M!

  2. I use an Herbs de Provence mix, that has some lavender in it, in savory dishes, and love it. It’s interesting to see the use of lavender leaves. It sounds great! Will keep it in mind! 🙂

    1. Thank you! Yes, Herbs de Provence uses the seeds. The leaves have a more fresh green taste with a lavender overtone. You should try. I think you will like it.

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