I don’t argue with Justin, since he’s a big, tall guy—but more so because he’s a great chef who has learned to embrace spices in a variety of cuisines. This recipe shows that lavender can be a great addition to many dishes, including braised chicken. A lot of people eschew dried herbs in favor of fresh, but this recipe shows how they can be better in slow-cooked dishes.
Luberon N.4 – Recipe by Justin Smillie, from “The Art of Blending” by Lior Lev Sercarz
Makes 6 Servings
12 bone-in chicken thighs, with skin
3 tablespoons Luberon N.4 spice blend, divided
3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch pieces
2 small red onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
10 Peppadew peppers, cut into ¼-inch slices
2 cups white wine
2 cups chicken stock
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons thinly sliced preserved lemon
- Season the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons of Luberon spice blend. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
- In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels, leaving the fat in the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive and add the chicken, skin-side down (you may need to work in batches). Cook the chicken until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter, leaving the fat in the pan.
- Add the onions, garlic and 1 tablespoon of Luberon to the skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Deglaze with the wine, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon.
- Return the bacon and chicken to the skillet and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the Peppadews, cover and continue simmering until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes longer.
- Stir in the parsley and preserved lemon. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.