Thursday, April 4, 2013

Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Lavender and Fennel

When I was in my early elementary school years, I was convinced that one needed to do everything perfectly to move on to the next grade.  Every spelling test, every math worksheet, every page in the phonics workbook needed to be perfect.  And obviously - mistakes were made.  Anxiety would ensue.

When I finally learned that I was actually moving on to the next grade, despite making some errors, such relief would come over me.

I eventually learned that perfection wasn't needed to move on to the next grade.  But a pursuit of this mythical idea of perfection never truly went away.  I rationally understand the concept of "we can't be perfect."  But on an emotional level, I haven't quite internalized that.  So anxiety continues to ensue.

It took me a long time to make a roasted chicken.  Making it perfect seemed so overwhelming -
how to achieve crispy, golden skin, to brine or not to brine, to truss or not too truss.  A paralyzingly fear resulted.  We all know that perfect can be the enemy of the good. I finally just started doing it and kept things simple.  This roasted chicken isn't perfect.  But it was very good.  And that is enough sometimes.

2-3 tablespoons duck fat
1 small fennel bulb, halved
2 lemons, halved
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried lavender
1 rosemary sprig
couple thyme sprigs
vanilla salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 roasting chicken

Heat oven to 400.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry, and be sure to remove the organs.  Rub the duck fat over the chicken.  Sprinkle vanilla salt, black pepper, and a touch of fresh rosemary and thyme leaves, and some fennel fronds on the outside.

Inside a cavity, stuff with the fennel, garlic, half a lemon, lavender, and sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

Around the chicken, nestle in some lemon halves, thyme sprigs, and some more fennel fronds.

Roast for 1-2 hours, until the breast meat reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees.


  1. I don't know, this chicken looks pretty darn good to me!

  2. The chicken must be very flavourful and tender!

  3. I agree! It doesn't always have to be perfect! That helps to remind yourself of that :) This DOES look perfect, though...

  4. There is something so comforting and homey about a roast chicken...and yours looks darn close to perfect!

  5. I'm with you on that perfectionism, and this roast chicken looks PERFECT :D

  6. I bet this tasted awesome with the duck fat!

  7. Your chicken looks so delicious! Love the golden colour! I have never cooked with duck fat before. Thanks for sharing!
    Have a great weekend!

  8. Haha your perfectionistic tendencies are adorable :D
    Love this delicious looking bird :D


  9. I definitely feel like that's why I resist cooking or baking certain things - a fear of imperfection. But just have to dive in!

  10. Firstly, I love the Le Creuset! The Volcanic is definitely my favourite! I'm a huge fan of roasting like this but I've never used duck fat with chicken before - a must try I reckon!

  11. Oh my goodness! Your chicken looks too yummy, and im so intrigued by the lavender in it.
    I'l definitely try this out!!

  12. Jenn, your roasted chicken look perfect to my eyes! I always want to make in Le Creuset pot, and I will definitely try this out - the lavender and lemon... nice!

  13. Um yes, this definitely looks delicious, especially with the duck fat! Roasting it in the pot must have kept it super moist and the lavendar and vanilla salt is an excellent touch.

  14. Great receipe, will definately make it for my husband! I love fennel with chicken, so tryin' to find a lot of ways to cook it (i've tried this one too chicken with fennel ). Thanks so much for this recipe. It looks amazing!



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