This Classic Roast Chicken recipe is a go-to favorite in our family! Growing up, I remember we would enjoy this every Sunday night and would always appreciate the overwhelming aromas it would create in the house while cooking! Because of the use of citrus and herbs, this chicken can pair beautifully with both our Russian River Chardonnay or our Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. Try pouring a glass of both wines over dinner and see how each brings out different components of the chicken - the Chardonnay with the citrus and butter and the Pinot Noir with the herbs, roasted chicken skin and tender meat.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Remove gizzards and clean cavity of chicken completely. Pat dry. Using a mortar and pestle (or food processor/blender), add the zest of 1 lemon, lavender buds (if available), thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, 1 garlic glove, sea salt and pepper to taste. Grind to paste-like consistency. Add 2 - 4 tsp of olive oil and honey to mortar, and grind again to incorporate all ingredients (if using food processor/blender, make sure to pulse gently - don't create smooth paste).
In small bowl, add butter, 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, zest of lemon, and salt and pepper to taste and stir. Using fingers, gently work skin away from chicken breast and slather lemon-butter under skin, careful not to break the skin.
Gently spread lemon-lavender paste over chicken. If too dry, drizzle a little more olive oil over chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place onion, the other 2 garlic cloves, and 1 lemon, quartered, plus any remaining herbs into the cavity of chicken. Truss the legs of the chicken and place on rack in roasting pan. Place in oven and roast for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until the juice runs clear from the thigh. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes prior to serving. Pour the roasting juices through a sieve and serve with chicken.
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