Honey Lemon Chicken with Herbes de Provence
Here in northern New England, the mornings have turned cooler. Suddenly, the thought of turning on the oven doesn’t sound like an easy way to die. When the weather turns toward autumn, I think of this recipe for Honey Lemon Chicken with Herbes de Provence. Bright and surprising, it remains a summer dish (take leftovers for a lovely picnic), but it hints of autumn. In other words, perfect for this weekend, when I made it to my parents.
Based on Rachel Khoo’s recipe for Lemon Lavender Chicken
It looks like Little Paris Kitchen, Rachel Khoo’s 2015 cookbook has become a bit hard to find in the US (the link is to her UK Bookshop.org site). That’s a shame, because it’s one of my favorites. I love her elegant, yet uncomplicated recipes and have incorporated them into my own back-pocket recipes. Her Lemon Lavender Chicken exemplifies this type of cooking and forms the basis for Honey Lemon Chicken with Herbes de Provence.
Simple technique, elevated ingredients
If you’ve ever baked marinated chicken, you already know everything you need to know about preparing Honey Lemon Chicken with Herbes de Provence. Simply make an herby honey vinaigrette and marinate the chicken for a couple of hours and then bake it in the marinade. The lemon and herbs flavor the meat, and the honey forms a delicious, sticky glaze that’s impossible to resist. It’s the herbs that elevate this dish into something unexpected and so, so tasty.
Cooking with lavender
If you’ve never cooked with lavender, you are in for a treat. Especially in the US, we’re inclined to think of it as something for relaxing bath salts, but it’s also wonderful in food. Lavender ice cream is a favorite. Making Khoo’s Lemon Lavender chicken was the first time I’d ever cooked with lavender. It’s delicious, but my American palate was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of lavender in the dish. I started experimenting with the herbs.
Herbes de Provence: keeping the lavender subtle
Enter herbes de Provence. This lovely dried herb blend is the south of France in a jar. You can make your own blend, but I like Morten & Bassett’s with lavender for this dish. I cut the amount of dried herbs from two tablespoons to a very generous one tablespoon. For me, this gets the flavor and aroma of lavender, without it becoming overwhelming. I also add thyme sprigs and parsley, and you could also add a little rosemary if you wanted. The brightness of the lemon and the sweetness of the honey come through as well, making this a very balanced dish, at least to me.
Save time with chicken thighs and drumsticks
Khoo’s recipe calls for breaking down a whole chicken, which is a great skill to have, but if you’re like me and spatchcocking is about the extent of what you want to do to a chicken on the regular, you can just use thighs and drumsticks and save yourself a bit of time and butchery. You could also use all thighs or all drumsticks, but I like the variety. The quick preparation definitely puts this in the work-from-home weeknight category.
Tried Honey Lemon Chicken with Herbes de Provence?
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried this recipe. Please let me know what you think in the comments!
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Honey Lemon Chicken with Herbes de Provence
For the Marinade
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tbsp herbes de Provence, crushed preferably in a mortar and pestle to taste, I use a very generous tbsp
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 2 sprigs thyme
For the Chicken
- 4 chicken thighs
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- kosher salt
- Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl
- Salt the chicken generously
- Add the chicken to a dish with a cover (or a resealable bag). Add the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 2 hours or up to 3
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before cooking and add to a roasting dish, skin side up for the thighs. Pour the marinade over the chicken
- Bake the chicken at 400 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip, and then bake for another 15 minutes. Flip again and baste with the juices from the pan and add back to the oven. Check the temperature after 5 minutes or so and continue to bake until the internal temperature reaches 165
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes, and then serve with juices spooned over the top