Thursday, March 17, 2011

LAVENDER - (In Chicken?!?!)

(In Chicken?!)

We all know that lavender smells great.  We buy lavender soap, lavender sachets and pillows and, some of us (me), dream of walking through lavender fields in Provence.
But lavender in food?   Who knew?

Dear friends, Stu and Kyle, live in Ojai, California and one of our greatest pleasures is visiting them for dinner and a sleepover.  Ojai is famous for its ‘pink moments’ at sunset,  the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa where I spent a glorious birthday a couple of years ago:

...and its yearly lavender festival.  Kyle has a booth at the festival and one year she asked me to submit designs (I did about three/four watercolors) for the annual Lavender Festival poster contest.  I lost.  Last year I painted a couple of children’s stools w/ a lavender theme to be sold at her booth.  And this year, she’s involved in putting together a lavender cookbook.

Of course, she didn’t ask me to participate. Why would she?  I wouldn't ask me either, when Richard is available.  His assignment if he chose to accept it (he did) was to test a recipe, make comments and advise her if the dish should be included in the cookbook.  He chose stir-fry chicken.   


1/2 cup lavender/rosemary oil (see recipe, below) 
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed or cut in strips,
5 cups chunked summer vegetables (squash, sweet onion, red peppers, small red potatoes, mushroom caps).


1/2 cup olive oil
5 sprigs rosemary
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. dried culinary lavender buds

Warm in a saucepan for five minutes.  Steep three hours.

Strain, pour into bottle, stir in cool, dry place


  1. Mix together oil, lemon and orange juice, and honey and marinate chicken for 3 hours.
  2. Place chicken in a saucepan with marinade and cook until browned, stirring constantly. See Richard's comments below.

     3.  Add the vegetables and cook until tender.    

    Makes 4 servings


    Richard felt the chicken should be seared at high heat, then removed.  Stagger the addition of the veggies – potatoes first since they take a bit longer to cook – then add the chicken again at the end to cook it through… that way, the chicken doesn’t dry out.

    And, since he loves lavender, he would up the amount of lavender in the oil.


    Richard made it again w/ his enhancement suggestions.  Lavender in chicken stir fry takes this traditional, easy, healthful dish to a delicious new level.

    Did we like it? Whadda ya think?

    ;o) - Two thumbs up.  This dish should definitely be included in the cookbook.

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