Roast Chicken with Peaches, Honey, and Lavender
"A Bird in the Hand: Chicken Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood"
"A perfect summer dish. It takes little effort and is great to serve outside on the patio. Don’t go crazy with the lavender—it will taste sickly if you use too much." —Diana Henry
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Sea salt flakes and pepper
- One 4-pound chicken, skin-on, cut into 8 pieces, or 8 good-sized skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- ¾ cup medium white wine
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, divided
- ¼ cup lavender honey, divided
- 5 small, slightly under-ripe peaches
- 8 sprigs of fresh lavender
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown them on each side in the oil so they get a good color. You can do this in batches.
Put the chicken pieces into a very large, broad, shallow baking dish (both the chicken and the peaches need to be able to lie snugly together in a single layer).
Discard the oil left behind in the skillet but don’t clean the skillet. Return it to the heat and deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping to dislodge anything sticking to the bottom. Boil this until it has reduced to about ½ cup, than add 1½ tablespoons each of the balsamic vinegar and honey. Stir to dissolve the honey, then pour the mixture over the chicken.
Halve and stone the peaches then halve each half again. Dot these around the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Brush each piece of peach with a little olive oil, then whisk the remaining honey and balsamic together with a fork. Drizzle this evenly over the chicken and peaches and scatter with the lavender (leave some sprigs of lavender whole; use just the flowers from others).
Roast in the hot oven for 40 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through and glazed with the honey, and the peaches should be slightly caramelized in patches. If you stick the tip of a sharp knife into the underside of a thigh, the juice that runs out should be clear. Serve in the dish in which the chicken has been cooked (you can transfer it all to a warmed platter if you prefer, but be careful because the peaches will be soft and could easily fall apart). Serve with potatoes roasted in olive oil and some green snap beans.
Recipe reprinted from A BIRD IN THE HAND: Chicken recipes for every day and every mood by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley 2015.
4 to 6 servings