Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lavender Honey Grilled Chicken and a Summer Salad

He was going to London and I was going to Paris. I ran into my colleague and beekeeper friend, Rich on our way to work. As we discussed his bees, he thought I might enjoy visiting a honey shop in Paris while I was there. He scribbled the directions on a scrap of paper and wrote down the proprietor's and apiculteur's name, Jean-Jaques. I would tell him Rich sent me. When I awoke from my nap in Paris on a hot, sunny afternoon, I headed out in search of honey. Twisting and turning up the steep hill to Butte-aux-Cailles, I found the honey/bee keepers shop, Les Abeilles. Jean-Jaques was tending the shop and when I mentioned Rich's name he smiled. The shelves were lined with honey and honey products, as well as beekeeper's accoutrement. As I stood there chatting with Jean-Jacques, a honeybee flew in and buzzed around this friendly place. Nothing like a little ambiance! Small jars of honey were lined up for tasting and I chose a wild lavender honey from Spain to buy. I tucked it into my bag thinking about using it in my tea, salad dressing or on grilled chicken. I went back out into the warm June sun to go to my next stop, la porcelaine blanche. It is a small shop on rue Monge, at the foot of the Mouffetarde. Mainly you'll find white porcelain, but they also have some colorful pottery, too.
White French porcelain has always been a favorite of mine and this is one of many stores in Paris with a good selection. I found a lyrically shaped white plate and a small edged, white dish shaped like the country of France. Oooh-la-la! I was drawn to them like bees to honey ;-) and was already envisioning what I'd put on them.....maybe something with honey, no?!
Hi Honey, I'm home!!

Lavender Honey Grilled Chicken

1 boneless chicken breast, about 1 1/2 pounds
2 tablespoons lavender honey*
2 teaspoons herb de Provence with lavender
freshly ground pepper
*Or use your favorite honey.

Have ready a grill that is medium high temperature.

Rinse and pat the chicken dry and cut it into 4 strips. Coat the chicken with the honey and sprinkle with the herb de Provence. Freshly grind pepper over chicken to taste. Place the chicken onto the hot grill and grill until mostly cooked on one side, about 15 minutes. Turn and finish cooking until nicely browned, but not burned. The sugars in the honey can easily burn, so adjust temperature if it starts to brown too quickly. It should be nicely caramelized.
Once the chicken is done, take off of the grill and put it on a plate to rest. Slice diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces and serve either warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4.

Baby Greens and Basil Salad with Honey Ginger Vinaigrette

5 ounces mixed baby greens, rinsed well
1 ounce basil leaves, rinsed well
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
assorted herb flowers or other small edible flowers*
4 lavender flowers* on their stems, fresh or dried
*Make sure they have not been sprayed with pesticides or chemicals. I use them from my garden so I can be certain they are organic. Use only the herb flowers in a recipe where you would use that herb, since the flower taste resembles the herb.
In a large salad bowl, mix the basil, baby greens and flowers together. Reserve the lavender flowers for garnish. Add the Honey Ginger Vinaigrette and toss. Divide evenly among 4 serving plates. Garnish with any extra edible flowers and the lavender. For extra lavender flavor, pull the lavender flowers from the stem and sprinkle over the salad. Since lavender has a strong flavor, I like to let each person add their own, if desired.

Serves 4.
Honey Ginger Vinaigrette

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice*
1 tablespoon (or more, if you like it sweeter) lavender honey**
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
good pinch of cayenne pepper
sea salt to taste
*If you can't find Meyer lemons, use 3 parts lemon juice and 1 part orange juice.
**Or use your favorite honey.

Whisk together the lemon juice, honey, and ginger in a small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking, until thoroughly blended and emulsified. Add the cayenne pepper and salt to taste.

Makes 3/4 cup vinaigrette.

A chilled dry Rosé compliments the grilled chicken and the summery salad very well. Lavender Honey Grilled Chicken recipe.
Baby Greens and Basil Salad with Honey Ginger Vinaigrette recipe.

Les Abeilles
21, rue de la Butte-aux-Caille

metro: Place d'Italie or Corvisart

la porcelaine blanche
119, rue Monge

metro: Censier Daubenton

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Deana Sidney said...

Oh my, Diane. I have lavender honey ! I am using it for a recipe soon but now must detour to make this. Lovely story and I think the recipe is amazing... so are those photos... magical flowers and love those wineglasses... are they very old? I have something similar from 1820. I read somewhere that those rings were to hold the glasses securely when fingers were a little greasy. This seemed likely when you had to rinse your glass when you changed wine. After a few courses... well....

a quiet life said...

ahh. this reads like a romance novel to me...

i adore your pic in the lavender, be still my heart... and those little cherry bowls!

perfect dinner for me, i am so sick of eating what authors tell me for food for thought, no one is writing this eloquently!

gorgeous post, my kind of food, pure luxury~

linda said...

dreamy... & the photographs certainly add to the lovely mood i am a feelin' from this post!

j'adore honey...use it in/on everything...
currently i am "into" black sage... does not crystallize & reminds me of lavender honey...but the sage is not as dear in price...

i am always looking @ the revol in sur la table...
that porcelain shop looks cute are the bowls decorated w/cherries!

love the way you staged the first shot w/blue patterned (damask?) tablecloth & lavender napkin!

Unknown said...

"Hi honey, I'm home" made me laugh
out loud. You are so funny, such a
great writer and your photography is
amazing. You NEED a book...what are you waiting ha

I want to make this dinner immediately and I don't even like honey!

Karen @ Mignardise said...

The poulet looks delicious, but I mostly covet your easy access to such wonderful French pottery.

Melanie said...

This looks delicious, the story behind it delightful. Thank you for your travel advice, it really does help :)

Lulu said...

Great pictures! The recipe is very interesting and looks so delicious!

Val said...

Your blog is so lovely!!!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Ahhhh...this was more like pure poetry than a post on chicken.

2 Stews said...

Deana...Alas, these glasses are only about 10 years old. I bought them in Paris and didn't know about the rings. A few weeks ago a group of us were at a restaurant with very pricey wine where a friend had buttery fingers and spilled a glass of wine. We needed those rings then!!

Jain...ah romance...I think it is in my bones! And Food For Thought is so wonderful, AND romantic the way the food is related to the books. Oh, the sacrifices we make;-)

Linda...I think I love EVERYTHING lavender! I have to try the black sage intriguing it sounds. Thanks for the intro! And, I may have to go back and get those Cherry bowls!

Nancy...honey dear, try it you'll like it. Honey is magical food. Single blossom honey is very therapeutic as well as tasty.

Karen...I'm like a drunk in a liquor store in the French porcelain and pottery shops. Is there a 12 step program??!

Melanie...glad the travel tips helped. Safe travels!

Lulu and Val...thanks so much and thanks for stopping by :-)

Linda @ Lime in the just sung to my heart! Thanks!!

Thanks everyone for the visit.....Diane

Guna's kitchen said...

first time here... perfect recipe and nice clicks too

prashant said...

This seemed likely when you had to rinse your glass when you changed wine. After a few courses... well....
Banner Advertising Network India