Lavender, Lemon, and Honey Spatchcocked Roast Chicken

Kerry Saretsky

I think there is something superlatively romantic about a roast chicken. It may not have the sex appeal of an oyster, but it has romance. You know that that scene at the end of The Great Gatsby when Daisy and Tom sit, plotting over a plate of cold chicken? That's when you knew she loves him. There is a certain domestic quality to roast chicken that I prefer to haute cuisine. It's contended ease of a comfortable relationship rather than the coquettish strategies of a first date.

Mr. English and I sometimes like to spend days in our pajamas, under blankets, watching reruns, and cooking and eating something indulgent. Usually that's something whole that two people can share, whether that's a chicken, a whole fish, or a tenderloin roast. This chicken fits that bill perfectly. The chicken is slathered in a butter studded with lavender blossoms and thyme leaves, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and light sweet honey, giving it those signature Provençal sweet-and-sour notes. Because I cut the backbone out (a process known as spatchcocking), the chicken is crisp and juicy in one pan in just 45 minutes, accompanied by a skin infused with a complex mess of Provençal flavors.

The chicken makes its own pan juices, but I roast lemon wedges alongside for some extra flavor. I serve it on toasted slices of rustic sourdough bread to soak up the gravy. A glass of rosé, maybe some green salad, and voila. True love.