There is nothing more comforting than a whole roasted chicken and I make them often, even in summer. But in the summer months when it’s warm (to put it mildly), I crave flavors that are a little lighter, and a lot brighter. And so with my need for both cozy comfort and brightness, this recipe for lemon lavender roasted chicken was born.Jump to Recipe
Recipe modified & recipe card updated in June, 2021.
I love lemon + lavender together, but I usually enjoy the combo in sweet treats like tarts, cakes and scones. But the French often use lavender in savory applications and it’s frequently a star in herb blends like Herbs de Provence, so I thought I’d give it a go. Nearly every yard in my neighborhood has some lavender growing. I have two different types in mine. We are lucky enough to be able to harvest it year round, but in late spring and summer it really goes nuts.
Heat releases the intoxicating aroma and I often toss some stems into my bath, or even a mug of tea. And yet, while it smells amazing, too much lavender added to a recipe can make your food taste soapy or medicinal. A little definitely goes a long way when it comes to food.
If you are lucky enough to grown lavender in your yard, make sure if you use it in the kitchen that is hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides. Or your dog. Ahem. But if you don’t grow it, you can always purchase dried culinary lavender online.
Now back to this chicken; not only is it infused with lemon and lavender, but a layer of soft goat cheese and herbs is spread under the skin which flavors the meat and makes it especially succulent. I originally learned this technique from kitchen queen Ina Garten, and I highly recommend the method.
HOW TO PERFECTLY ROAST A CHICKEN EVERY TIME
- Season it well! Roast chicken always tastes best if it’s well seasoned so don’t be shy with the salt.
- Watch the heat! I typically roast smaller chickens at higher heat, but this recipe calls for a 5 pound roaster so lower and slower, and the occasional basting with pan juices will yield the best results. You are just an hour and a half away from the most amazing smelling kitchen, and the most amazing and delightful lemon lavender roasted chicken.
- Add flavor! Chickens, while delicious plain, are also kind of a blank slate when it comes to flavors. I almost always rub herbs, butter, and citrus zest under the skin of the breasts and thighs. In this recipe, I also put goat cheese under the skin which keeps the meat moist and adds a ton of flavor.
WANT MORE LEMON + LAVENDER INSPO? BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES:
If you make this recipe, or any of my others be sure to tag me on Instagram, and use the hashtags #agirldefloured #deflouredrecipes!
Lemon Lavender Roasted Chicken
- Small Roasting Pan
- 5 pound roasting chicken
- 8 ounces of goat cheese softened for a bit at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of minced fresh lavender
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest from approximately one lemon
- 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves
- olive oil for drizzling
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 whole lemon cut in half
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Discard the giblets from the chicken’s cavity and pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- Put the goat cheese, rosemary, lavender, lemon zest, and thyme in a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment. Pulse until smooth.
- Starting at the chicken’s neck, carefully slide your fingers under the skin creating a pocket. Stretch your fingers down towards the thighs and extend the pocket as far as you can reach over the thigh meat. Spread the cheese mixture as evenly as you can over the breast and thigh meat.
- Place the lemon halves inside the cavity of the chicken, truss the chicken and tuck the wings behind its back.
- Rub a generous amount of salt and pepper over the skin and place in a shallow roasting pan just large enough for the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast, basting with pan juices several times, for about 1½ hours or until a thermometer inserted into the breast reads 165 degrees. Tent with foil and rest for 10 minutes before carving.