Close your eyes and breathe in deeply. The lavender and thyme scent of this chicken is reminiscent of a journey to Provence. The Provencal countryside near Luberon and Mont-Ventoux blooms purple from late June through July when lavender is harvested. At a quaint family-owned restaurant in Gordes near the famously photographed lavender fields of the Sénanque Abbey, a version of this seasonal poulet is served. The rustic herb bouquet studded with lavender and fragrant herbs turns ordinary chicken into a visual feast as fit for Sunday supper as it is for a special gathering. 

cuisine French
difficulty Simple
season Year Round
serves 4

Ingredients for the chicken

  • 3 - 3 1/2 pound chicken
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heads garlic, halved
  • 12 small shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, zested in large peels
  • 1 teaspoon Culinary Lavender
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Lavender Honey
  • Fresh rosemary, lavender, and thyme, garnish

for the sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon culinary lavender
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Trim excess fat from the chicken, remove the giblets, dry the chicken thoroughly with paper towels, and season the inside and out with salt & pepper.
  3. Stuff the chicken's cavity with the thyme, 1/2 of a head of a garlic, 2 peeled shallots, and the lavender. Truss the chicken with kitchen twine.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil & the honey together. Brush the chicken all over with the mixture making certain every bit of surface area has been glazed.
  5. Toss the shallots and remaining halves of garlic heads in olive oil and place in the bottom of a roasting pan that just fits the bird.
  6. Place the chicken breast side up on the bed of garlic and shallots, put pan in the oven with legs toward the back wall of the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the bird from the oven and baste the chicken with the pan juices and another brush of the honey & oil mix.
  8. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees °F and put the chicken back in the oven and roast until the skin is golden brown, about 25 minutes. A thermometer inserted into the thigh should register 165 degrees °F.
  9. Remove the chicken, the shallots, and the garlic from the roasting pan and let rest while the sauce is prepared.
  10. Put the roasting pan over a burner and set the flame to medium-high heat. Add the water, and stir and scrape to remove the delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  11. Strain the drippings into a bowl and spoon off the excess fat.
  12. Whisk the lemon juice, remaining olive oil & honey mixture, fresh thyme leaves, lavender, and strained pan juices together. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  13. Place the chicken back in the roasting pan. Scatter the roasted shallots around the chicken and place the halves of roasted garlic next to the chicken. Spoon some of the sauce around the base of the chicken, reserving most of the sauce to be passed when the chicken has been carved and plated.
  14. Make a small herb bouquet with the lavender, rosemary, and thyme and place in the chicken between the legs and the back so that it stands up straight.