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Brined chicken is incredibly moist and flavorful, and the lemon and lavender make for a beautiful aromatic experience.
Combine all of the brine ingredients (except the chicken) in a large stock pot and bring to a rolling boil. Boil 3 minutes, remove from heat, cover the pot, and cool completely.
Remove giblets from chicken cavity and discard them. Rinse chicken thoroughly with cold water and add it to the pot with the brine. Add enough cold water to completely submerge the chicken. Cover the pot and refrigerate the chicken for at least 8 hours and up to 20 hours. The longer it soaks, the more flavorful and moist the chicken will be.
Preheat oven to 500°F. Remove the chicken from the brine, place it on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, and pat dry with a paper towel. Stuff the cavity with the lemon quarters and lavender sprigs. Tuck the wing tips underneath the chicken and truss together the legs. Mix together butter, lemon zest, chopped lavender and pepper.
Gently separate the skin from the chicken breasts, and spread half the butter mixture inside, reaching as far back as possible without tearing the skin. Rub the remaining butter mixture over the outside of the chicken.
Transfer the chicken in the roasting pan to the preheated oven and cook at 500°F for 20 minutes to allow the skin to brown and crisp. Reduce heat to 350°F and cook, uncovered, about 1 more hour, until internal temperature reaches 170°F. Remove chicken from oven, cover it, and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving. There should be an absurd amount of juice at the bottom of the pan, and you can either use this as is, or turn it into a delicious gravy using your favorite gravy recipe.
Feel free to customize the toppings to your taste. I like my wrap with avocado, tomato and lettuce while my husband likes the chicken on a bun as a club sandwich. The real key to this recipe is the marinade.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!