Lavender Herb Butter Roasted Chicken

Spring is in the air, and what better way to celebrate than with a dish that’s as easy as it is impressive? Say hello to our lavender roast chicken recipe: a crispy, buttery whole roasted chicken with a subtle lavender twist that’ll have everyone coming back for more.

Why you’ll love this lavender chicken recipe:


  • Aromatic Twist on a Classic: The use of culinary lavender offers a unique, aromatic twist to the classic roast chicken, elevating the dish with a hint of floral sophistication that’s perfect for spring and summer dinners.
  • Simple Yet Sophisticated Flavors: The combination of lavender, fresh thyme, garlic, and lemon zest creates a flavor profile that’s both simple to achieve and sophisticated in taste, proving that elegance in cooking doesn’t have to be complicated.
  • User-Friendly Technique: Despite its impressive outcome, the recipe is accessible for cooks of all levels. The straightforward technique of buttering under the skin is a simple method that yields moist and flavorful meat every time.
  • Versatility: This dish pairs beautifully with a wide range of sides, from simple roasted vegetables to more indulgent choices like vegetable au gratin, giving readers the flexibility to tailor their meal to the occasion.

Classic Roast Chicken with a Twist

Okay, you guys, this Lavender Herb Butter Roasted Chicken recipe is the spring dinnertime hero we all need, and just in time for the round of Easter and Mother’s Day brunches and dinners filling up our calendars.

Picture this: a perfectly crispy roasted chicken, basking in a buttery glaze that’s subtly sweet, slightly floral, and utterly mouthwatering. We’re talking a pinch of bright lemon zest, a sprinkle of cozy thyme, a drizzle of sweet honey, and a good hit of garlic for that oh-so-good flavor punch.

Lavender and herb butter glazed and roasted whole chicken on a serving platter with fresh sprigs of thyme.

Now, here’s where the magic happens – the lavender. It’s not your everyday seasoning, right? It sneaks in there, adding a layer of sophistication to the usual herb and butter love affair we have going on with chicken, but it’s so gentle about it.

It doesn’t scream, “Hey, look at me!” Instead, it whispers, “I’m something special,” enhancing the traditional flavors with a floral hint that feels just right for spring.

Perfect for when you want to impress your guests without straying too far from the comfort foods we all love and crave. This lavender chicken recipe isn’t just food; it’s a dining experience – one that celebrates the freshness and renewal of spring in every bite!

Looking for more simple yet elegant main dish recipes? Be sure to try our flavorful chicken and potatoes in cider cream sauce, our oven-baked basil pesto crusted salmon, our creamy pasta magnifico (linguine in citrus cream sauce), and our fresh ricotta pesto pasta with peas and artichokes.

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Roasted chicken on a white serving platter with overlaid text which says "Lavender Herb Butter Roasted Chicken".

Cooking with Culinary Lavender

  • Use Culinary-Grade Lavender: Ensure it’s meant for consumption to avoid bitter tastes and chemicals.
  • Moderation is Key: Lavender is potent; start with a small amount to avoid overpowering your dish.
  • Flavor Pairings: Works well with sweet (berries, citrus) and savory (herbs, poultry, lamb) ingredients. Pairs beautifully with honey.
  • Preparation Tips: Dried lavender is preferred for convenience and concentration. Crush lightly to release flavor without turning it into powder.
  • Cooking Applications: Infuse in liquids (milk, cream, syrups), mix into sugars for baking, or add to rubs and marinades for a floral note.
  • Experiment Thoughtfully: Lavender’s unique taste complements many dishes. Use sparingly for a subtle, enhancing flavor.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for lavender herb butter chicken spread out on a countertop.

Be sure to scroll down to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below.

Recipe Roadmap with Photos

1

Prep the Lavender Butter

In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, lavender, thyme, salt, garlic, honey, and lemon zest. Using a fork, mix the ingredients together until well combined.

2

Apply the Butter

Gently loosen the skin from the breast and drumsticks of the chicken. Using your fingers, spread the lavender herb butter under the skin and over it. Season the skin all over with salt and pepper.

3

Stuff and Truss

Stuff the cavity with all of the quartered lemon slices and a few of the sprigs of thyme. Truss the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body to prevent them from burning.

4

Roast the Chicken

Roast in the preheated oven for about 1 to 1 ¼ hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh, and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F (74°C). Let rest for 15 minutes. Serve on a platter and drizzle any remaining pan juices over the top for extra flavor. Garnish with remaining fresh thyme sprigs.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • Take the Chill Off: Take the chicken out of the refrigerator about 30 to 60 minutes before you start preparing it. Allowing the chicken to come closer to room temperature ensures it cooks more evenly, as starting with a too-cold chicken can lead to uneven cooking, with the exterior potentially drying out before the interior is fully cooked.
  • Room Temperature Butter: Make sure your butter is soft but not melted for the herb butter mixture. This consistency helps it mix smoothly with the other ingredients and spread more easily under the chicken skin.
  • Crush the Lavender: To release the essential oils and maximize the floral aroma of your culinary lavender, gently crush the dried lavender flowers before using. A quick press with a mortar and pestle works well, or you can gently bruise them with the back of a spoon.
  • Basting it Right: Basting the chicken with its own juices not only adds flavor but also helps achieve that gorgeously glazed exterior. If you notice the skin browning too quickly, you can loosely tent the chicken with aluminum foil to protect it from direct heat, allowing it to continue cooking without burning.
  • Don’t Skip the Resting Time: Allowing the chicken to rest after roasting is crucial for juicy meat. It gives the juices time to redistribute throughout the chicken, so they don’t all run out when you carve it.

Lavender Herb Butter Glazed Whole Roasted Chicken

Spring is in the air, and what better way to celebrate than with a dish that's as easy as it is impressive? Say hello to our lavender roast chicken recipe: a crispy, buttery whole roasted chicken with a subtle lavender twist that'll have everyone coming back for more.
By: AllieAllie Cleveland
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 446 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole roasting chicken (about 3-4 lbs), giblets removed
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender flowers crushed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 lemon zested then quartered
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme sprigs divided
  • kosher alt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Make sure you have your oven rack set in the lower middle of the oven.
  • In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, lavender, thyme, salt, garlic, honey, and lemon zest. Using a fork, mix the ingredients together until well combined.
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Gently loosen the skin from the breast and drumsticks of the chicken. Using your fingers, spread about ⅔ of the lavender herb butter under the skin, directly onto the meat. Rub the rest of the mixture all over the outside of the chicken. This will help to flavor the meat deeply and encourage the skin to crisp up beautifully. Season the skin all over with salt and pepper.
  • Squeeze some of the juice from one of the quartered lemon slices into the cavity of the chicken. Then stuff the cavity with all of the quartered lemon slices and a few sprigs of thyme. Truss the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body to prevent them from burning.
  • Place the chicken breast-side up in a shallow heavy roasting pan. Roast in the preheated oven for about 1 to 1 ¼ hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh, and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F (74°C).
  • Halfway through cooking, baste the chicken with the pan juices to ensure it stays moist and the skin becomes nicely glazed. If the chicken seems to be browning too quickly, tent some foil over it.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that every bite is moist and flavorful.
  • Carve the chicken and serve it on a platter. Drizzle any remaining pan juices over the top for extra flavor. Garnish with remaining fresh thyme sprigs.

Recipe Notes

Leftovers

  • Storage: Cool leftovers quickly and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: Gently reheat in a covered dish in a 350°F (175°C) oven until warmed through. Avoid microwaving to keep the skin crispy.

 

Storage

  • Freezing: You can freeze cooked chicken pieces for up to 3 months. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

 

Make-Ahead

  • Herb Butter: The herb butter can be made up to a week ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Soften slightly before using to ensure it spreads easily under the chicken skin.

 

Variations/Substitutions

  • Herbs: While lavender and thyme are used here, rosemary, sage, or oregano are great substitutes or additions. Mix and match based on your preferences.
  • Butter Alternatives: For a dairy-free version, use a high-quality olive oil or a vegan butter substitute.
  • Sweeteners: Instead of honey, try maple syrup for a different type of sweetness that also pairs well with herbs and garlic.
  • Citrus: Lemon brings a bright acidity to the dish, but orange or lime zest and wedges can offer a unique twist on the flavor profile.
  • Adding Vegetables: Surround the roast the chicken with root vegetables or potatoes for a one-pan meal. The veggies will absorb the delicious juices and herb flavors.

 

Additional Tips

  • Roasting Vegetables: If roasting vegetables with the chicken, consider tossing them in some of the herb butter for extra flavor.
  • Spatchcocking: For a quicker cooking time, consider spatchcocking the chicken. This method involves removing the backbone and flattening the chicken, allowing it to cook more evenly and faster.

Nutrition

Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.1g | Protein: 25.5g | Fat: 34.1g | Saturated Fat: 16.3g | Cholesterol: 140.8mg | Sodium: 370.8mg | Sugar: 1.5g

*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword fresh herb butter
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can use dried herbs if fresh aren’t available. Keep in mind that dried herbs are more potent, so use about 1/3 the amount of dried herbs compared to fresh.

The safest way to check if your chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone.

To ensure crispy skin, pat the chicken dry with paper towels before applying the herb butter. Also, make sure your oven is properly preheated and consider broiling the chicken for the last few minutes of cooking if the skin isn’t as crispy as you’d like.

Absolutely! Preparing the herb butter ahead of time can actually enhance its flavors as the herbs and butter meld together. Store it in the refrigerator if making it more than an hour ahead of time, and let it soften slightly before using.

Whole roasted chicken on a white oval serving platter and surrounded by fresh thyme springs and lavender.

What to Serve with Roast Chicken

When serving Lavender Herb Roasted Chicken, pairing it with some spring-inspired sides can elevate the meal into a seasonal celebration. Here are some ideas for side dishes that harmonize with the aromatic flavors of your main course:

  • Roasted Spring Vegetables: Think asparagus, baby carrots, or radishes, lightly seasoned and roasted to highlight their natural sweetness and provide a colorful complement to the chicken. Or try pairing with our easy roasted carrots and asparagus with tarragon butter, our spiced hot honey roasted carrots, or our savory charred broccolini with lemon and garlic.
  • Fresh Green Salads: Opt for salads featuring spring greens, such as spinach and arugula salad, tossed with a light vinaigrette. Adding elements like fresh herbs, edible flowers, or fruit can tie the flavors to those of the lavender chicken. Try our simple strawberry spring mix salad for a classic pairing.
  • Herb-infused Grains: Grains like quinoa, couscous, or farro, enhanced with fresh spring herbs (think parsley, mint, or chives) and a hint of lemon, offer a light but satisfying side that pairs well with the floral notes of the dish.
  • Spring Peas and Beans: Whether it’s a salad of crisp snap peas, buttery broad beans, or a mix of peas and fresh mint, these green sides add a fresh burst of flavor and texture that complements the succulent chicken.
  • Potato Dishes: New potatoes, either roasted with herbs or tossed in a light mustard vinaigrette for a potato salad, can offer a comforting but not heavy accompaniment to the meal. Or go more indulgent with a potato or vegetable au gratin.
  • Simple Sautéed Greens: A quick sauté of seasonal greens, such as Swiss chard, kale, or spinach, with garlic and a touch of olive oil, provides an easy and nutritious side that balances the richness of the chicken.
  • Citrusy Fruit Salads: A salad of mixed citrus fruits, or even strawberries with a balsamic glaze, can introduce a sweet and tangy element that beautifully contrasts with the savory, herbal chicken.

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