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French in a Flash: Lavender-Apricot Chicken Drumsticks

"Think of these drumsticks as a savory-sweet Provençal version of the sticky chicken wings you nibble at the bar."

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

Fall is the new year of the fashion world, so this week's recipe will have a little something to do with trends. Thumbing through my stack of French culinary magazines, I discovered a delicious one: apricots and lavender. These Lavender-Apricot Chicken Drumsticks have three great things going for them: they are easy, cheap, and colorful (the peachy-orange of the apricots and muted violet of the lavender).

Lavender and apricot is a popular Provençal pairing. But the most interesting thing I learned when in Provence this summer: Provençals hardly ever eat lavender. When I visited an Herbes de Provence farm in Lourmarin, the owner guided us through bushes of thyme and rosemary towards the lavender. I asked what she puts in her special HdP blend. She rattled off a list, including summer savory and the aforementioned thyme and rosemary.

"What about lavender?" I asked. She turned to me, startled. "You mean, in the food?" she gasped. Apparently, lavender is a culinary trend that we have only appropriated from Provence (although, as I said, I often see it, gleaming and glossy, in French culinary magazines). For the Provençals, it remains exclusively in the realm of soap.

Think of these drumsticks as a savory-sweet Provençal version of sticky chicken wings you nibble at the bar. You can certainly follow the same recipe for drummettes or wings, and feel free to substitute the lavender for fresh rosemary for an equally authentic and interesting Provençal dinner. With some crispy rosemary roasted potatoes, the dish is even more fashionable.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the The Secret Ingredient series for Serious Eats.

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