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lavender chicken breasts in Champagne sauce ~ with mushrooms

Time’s a wasting! Let me cut right to the chase. Would you like to put on the table a dinner that makes you feel like you just came out of Cordon Bleu with your own chef’s cap and apron? Would you like to set down a plate in front of someone you love with a proud little smirk on your face? Would you like to feel accomplished and loving all with one gorgeous dinner? You’ve got this one in the bag!

I want so badly to describe to you how lovely this dish is! Let me try, while the taste still lingers on my tongue. I’ve discovered that there’s something inexplicable about lavender in one’s mouth. In the right proportions, it’s neither a scent nor a taste, but somewhere smack dab in between the two. As my sweet husband and I sat eating our dinner tonight I was (so sorry honey) distracted trying to identify just where the lavender touched – and it was, honest to goodness, top of the palate where it borders the nose. Ok, you don’t care about that, and why should you?

This is what you want to know:

Lavender chicken in champagne sauce is one of the most exquisitely delicious chicken dishes I’ve ever prepared. I’ve made it several times now, and each time, the same. I can hardly stop sighing. And for a romantic dinner for two that’s an especially nice thing.

Lavender Chicken Breasts

in Champagne Sauce with Mushrooms

serves 6

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried culinary Provence lavender buds, finely ground in a spice grinder (see NOTE)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups thinly sliced small brown mushrooms
  • ½ cup minced shallots
  • ½ cup Champagne
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon concentrated chicken stock – optional (also known as Glace de Poulet GoldBetter than Boullon is one brand)
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Fresh thyme sprigs or lavender sprigs (optional)

NOTE on lavender: For culinary lavender, one good source (if you don’t find in the bulk tea section of your market, is Amazon.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the lemon juice, thyme and lavender. Let marinate for 20 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Brush the dust from the mushrooms and slice thinly. Dice the shallots. Set aside.

In a large skillet on medium-high heat, place the oil and 4 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter has melted, add the chicken breasts and brown on each side, about 7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Add the mushrooms and the shallots to the skillet. Reduce the heat if necessary. As you stir frequently, the mushrooms will release their liquids and begin to loosen the good dark bits in the skillet. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the Champagne, broth and chicken broth concentrate (if using.) Simmer for 10 minutes.

In a small cup or ramekin, mix the flour and the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter. Whisk this into the skillet and continue whisking until the sauce thickens, only a couple minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer for about 15 minutes. Cooking times will be longer obviously for thicker portions. (Internal chicken temperature 160 – 165°F.) When ready to serve, scatter parsley and transfer to a warmed platter. Spoon the mushroom sauce over top and garnish with thyme or lavender sprigs if you like. Serve with Champagne (and kisses if appropriate.)

This recipe is another from the wonderful little book the Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley,

tweaked only slightly

~ ~ ~

May you be safe,

may you stay healthy,

may you know love!

Happy New Year everyone!

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. This looks — and I bet smells — terrific and your photos really do present the dish in a tantalizing way! It looks to me to be a perfect celebratory dinner between 2 people. Thanks for sharing and here’s wishing you every success & happiness in the new year!

    December 30, 2011
    • And all of that to you John! Cheers!

      December 30, 2011
  2. looks delishous~

    December 30, 2011
  3. Spreesgratefulguineapig #

    There are so many ways that Spree puts love on the table, in the latte cup, in the home etc..
    This post and dish is just so emblematic of her heart and craft. I can vouche for the utter delight that meets the nose and palate when dining on this offering. spree knows that rodents live for mushrooms. The delicate herbal element that the Lavendar added to the dish is really warming and wonderful. Please do enjoy this dish and the new year. This rates 5 out of 5 on the portly rodent scale. Enyoy!

    December 30, 2011
  4. Ah, you describe lavender in the mouth so perfectly. I care about that sort of thing greatly! I cannot wait to concoct this dish with our very own copy of this cookbook. The presentation too, I might add, is exquisite. I love the tops on those carrots. The blue, oranges and browns here — yum in every way. Happy New Year to you!

    December 30, 2011
    • Ah thanks for noticing the little things! And sweet of you to comment. You’re going to Love this dish! Bon Appetit, cheers, and Happy New Year love!

      December 30, 2011
  5. Nice idea – I’m certainly trying that in the New Year. I really congratulate you on your photography – dishes like that, however delicious, are not easy to shoot. Have a very and successful New Year.

    December 31, 2011
    • Coming from you Roger, I feel very complimented. I hope you’re feeling well again and starting the New Year feeling frisky!

      December 31, 2011
  6. What a beautiful post. I love the idea of using Lavender in cooking and always have some on hand from my garden. The way you describe the taste and where it “hits” is spot on! And any dish that uses half a cup of champagne leaving the rest to be enjoyed is a winner in my book 🙂 A very Happy New Year to you and your loved ones….

    December 31, 2011
    • Thanks, chica Tanya! Lavender’s been in my garden for years too but has now also moved to the front of my spice drawer. So delectable! To your health and happiness, y Prospero Ano Nuevo!

      December 31, 2011
  7. Malou Prestado #

    Looks very delicious!

    December 31, 2011
  8. What a beautiful dish. Definitely special occasion stuff here!

    December 31, 2011
    • Thanks Rufus. Our anniversary and New Years coincide so there’s much to celebrate.

      December 31, 2011
  9. deb #

    The loveliness of you is exemplified throughout your photography and descriptions. Such a “lovely” idea to begin 2012 with a celebratory dinner that includes champagne as an essential ingredient! Happy new year . . . Numbers 6:24-26

    December 31, 2011
  10. What a great recipe. Definitely trying this out in the new year! The second last line of the post is a delicious idea for accompanying sides 🙂

    December 31, 2011
  11. That really does look like a wonderful dish to have in a candlelit setting. And as I happen to have a couple of half-used Champagne bottles sitting in the fridge after last night’s celebrations, I will try this. Hope I can present it as well as you have. Happy New Year!

    December 31, 2011
    • Everything (everyone) looks better in candlelight right? And perfect use for half-bottles of half-bubbly! Enjoy, and a very Happy New Year!

      December 31, 2011
  12. Lovely recipe, presentation, photography… It’s too late to make for New Year’s.. so I’m bookmarking it for Valentine’s Day! Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve!!!

    December 31, 2011
    • We SO did! An amazing dinner of eight courses comprised of mainly little-ish bites – each thoroughly imaginative and some downright playful. And we stayed in a hotel that invites dogs, and has a piano in the “living room” for anyone to play and canvases with paints for anyone so inspired. Such fun we had! Hope you did too Smidge!

      January 1, 2012
  13. carolyn #

    After reading this, I feel like my life depends upon making this dish. And serving it with champagne and kisses.

    January 1, 2012
  14. “I was distracted trying to identify just where the lavender touched…” that, right there is brilliant… I love those moments 🙂
    Gorgeous sounding dish.

    January 2, 2012

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