Our #30daysofhoney roundup continues. Today, it’s all about Chef Blake Malatesta and his Roasted Chicken With Lemon Honey and Thyme. While many of you know Blake from his time spent at 50 Ocean in Delray Beach, he has recently been MIA – or, rather, at M.I.A.

M.I.A., which stands for Modern. American. Authentic., is the name of Malatesta’s new restaurant. Scheduled to open in November, this west Delray Beach spot will feature local food with a global flair. Think housemade pastas, Firestone pizzas, small and large plates, local beer, and over 30 wines, available by the glass.

Roasted Chicken with HoneyWhile the chef is “missing in action,” you can still enjoy his cuisine in the comfort of your own kitchen. Here is Chef Blake Malatesta’s recipe for Roasted Chicken With Lemon Honey and Thyme.

Roasted Chicken With Lemon Honey and Thyme

Serves 4


2 lemons

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided; 2 softened, 2 chilled)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 3.5-lb. chicken, rinsed and patted dry

1 head garlic, left unpeeled and halved horizontally

1/4 cup orange blossom honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

Jasmine rice

Special equipment: kitchen string and an instant-read thermometer


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 425° F.

Finely grate enough zest from 1 lemon to measure 1 tablespoon, then squeeze enough juice from same lemon to measure 2 tablespoons.

Stir together the butter, thyme, zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper.

Put chicken, breast side up, in a small roasting pan. Starting from neck cavity, work your fingers gently between skin and flesh of breast to loosen skin all the way to thighs, without tearing. Put one-fourth of tarragon butter under skin of each breast, then rub skin from outside to spread evenly.

Starting from large cavity, loosen skin on both sides of cavity with a paring knife (to provide access to thighs), then work your fingers gently between skin and flesh of thighs and drumsticks.

Divide remaining tarragon butter among thighs and drumsticks, rubbing skin from outside to spread evenly. Season cavity and skin with salt and pepper, then halve remaining lemon and put inside cavity along with garlic. Tie drumsticks together with kitchen string.

Whisk together honey, lemon juice, oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast chicken 30 minutes, then brush pan juices and half of honey mixture over chicken and roast 10 minutes more. Brush chicken again with pan juices and remaining honey mixture and continue to roast until thermometer inserted in fleshy part of a thigh (do not touch bone) registers 162° F (about 20 minutes more).

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Skim fat from pan juices and reserve.

Place pan juice in small sauce pot, bring to simmer, reduce slightly, and adjust seasoning to taste with honey, salt and lemon. When desired taste is reached, turn off heat and whip in remaining cold butter.

Carve chicken and serve with jasmine rice (cook rice according to packet’s directions). Want additional flavor in the rice? Add fresh chopped Thai basil, garlic and sautéed onion.