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When I was younger, purple was my color. I had my room painted purple, loved purple clothes, and don’t think my nails weren’t regularly painted the same. As I’ve grown, that love for purple hasn’t gone. It has diminished some, to be sure. But when I saw a picture of a purple empanada, you can be sure I wanted to recreate that into something Autoimmune Paleo friendly!! While sometimes it can take several tries to get a recipe right, I was thrilled that these Lavender Chicken Tarts came out delicious on the very first go!
But this recipe is special in that it features another of my favorite things in the world: lavender. My love of lavender is surely traced to my Mom. A trip to her house would regularly include the sights and smells of lavender bundles, hanging in her kitchen. Or the relaxing scent of a homemade lavender sachet, placed lovingly beneath my pillow. That could be why I make lavender an integral part of my end of the evening winding down process. The oil always gets applied to my chest and back of neck before retiring for the night.
Of course, I am not alone in my love for this flower, and there’s plenty of reasons why (and they go far beyond its fragrance). Whether it’s helping to stimulate your body’s use of glutathione or reducing stress, lavender is something you just need more of in your life!
But let’s talk lavender in food! If you haven’t tried using lavender in your recipes, you must! Here, in these Lavender Chicken Tarts, the lavender infuses both the chicken and the tart shells with its pungent flavor. Your senses and taste buds will love this one! Begin by mashing the buds with either a mortar and pestle or back of a spoon to release their fragrant aroma. Afterwards, some will become part of the balsamic, honey and thyme-scented marinade for the chicken, while the remainder will liven-up the purple-hued tart shells.
An Instant Pot is called for here. While you could certainly make the chicken breasts in the oven, my concern with making it this way is that the sauce might evaporate. And you want this sauce, believe me! Feel free to try it in the oven, but you’ve been forewarned! The sauce is what gives these Lavender Chicken Tarts their sweet, herbaceous flavor. I would hate for you to miss out on that.
Enjoy these tarts friends. They are the perfect way to make dinner, gatherings, lunch for the kiddos (FYI these are very much kid-approved as well) fun and festive. For who doesn’t love purple?! And, if you haven’t tried it, the lavender will surprise your taste buds with its woodsy, sweet aroma and flavor.
What I Used to Make This Recipe:
Below are foods and cookware I used in making these Lavender Chicken Tarts. They are suggestions; feel free to look locally for these options as well!
- Instant Pot. You need one of these in your lives. Like you need lavender, and purple. Seriously, you will find no better choice for batch cooking, soup-making, and a gazillion other uses! Love!
- balsamic vinegar
- culinary grade lavender (also frequently found in health food stores, bulk section)
- sea salt
- cassava flour
- coconut milk
- solid cooking fat, such as duck fat or tallow
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Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable:
This recipe is part of Phoenix Helix’s Recipe Roundtable #224! If you’re looking for some recipe inspiration, definitely check it out!
Lavender Chicken Tarts
These bite-sized tarts, made with purple sweet potato, are the perfect vehicle for chicken that has been marinated in a sweet lavender sauce! A fun, delectable way to dress up your chicken dish!
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon culinary-grade lavender (available at most health food stores in bulk section or online)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 cups peeled, cooked and cooled purple sweet potato
- 3/4 cup cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon lavender (optional, but recommended - will increase lavender flavor!)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 Tablespoon coconut milk
- 1 or more Tablespoon solid cooking fat
Using either a mortar and pestle or back of spoon, mash lavender until fragrant.
Add all ingredients (balsamic vinegar, honey, chopped shallot, lavender, thyme and salt to plastic bag or bowl. Add chicken, making sure marinade coats all sides of the chicken. Cover and place in fridge, up to several hours, to marinate. (**IMPORTANT NOTE: If making recipe in its entirety today, make your tarts while chicken marinates. See below)
After 1-2 hours, remove from fridge and place chicken and marinade in IP. Add 1 cup bone broth. Close lid and set to pressure cook for 15 minutes. When finished, use either quick release or allow to release on own (either way is fine).
Remove chicken to bowl. Strain liquid into a small saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and add 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder. Whisk until dissolved. Continue to simmer until reduced by half and thickened, 15-20 minutes.
While sauce is thickening, shred chicken with two forks. When sauce has thickened, pour back over chicken and stir to combine.
While chicken is marinating, make tarts. Preheat oven to 375.
If using lavender, mash with mortar and pestle or back of spoon to release fragrance.
In medium bowl, mash purple sweet potato until no lumps remain. Add flour, lavender and sea salt. Work together using a fork until well combined. Add coconut milk and mix again with fork.
Make 15 1 ounce portion sizes of dough. Shape into rectangles.
Place on parchment-lined baking pan or silicone mat. Spread fat across all tarts by placing a little dollop in the center of each.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, till lightly browned along edges and firm in center.
Place a small amount of the lavender chicken in each tart. Serve immediately. (**If not serving right away, keep chicken and tarts separate. 15 minutes before serving, remove from fridge, assemble, and warm in preheated oven for ~10 minutes until warm!
Refrigerated, chicken and tarts will keep for several days. Freeze for longer term storage!
Note: The prep time includes 60 minutes for the chicken to marinate. While it is marinating, you will have enough time to prepare and cook the dough. You can always let the chicken marinate longer. You can also pre-cook the chicken a day or two ahead, or pre-make the dough! This recipe is flexible in that way.