Pesto Roast Chicken

This week it’s one of my own ‘recipes’, although there are loads of versions of this on the internet, so I am not in any way claiming some amazing creation!

Pesto Roast Chicken is a bit odd when you think about it, because you don’t cook pesto when you use it on pasta you just add it to hot pasta. However, it works, and it’s a different taste for your run of the mill roast chicken. I love roast chicken, but it’s always a bit ‘samey’ so it’s nice to find different ways of roasting it.


One chicken, whatever size you like

One batch of homemade pesto (it really is best to make your own, and it’s not hard!)

One lemon

Handful of basil

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


First you have to prepare the pesto (1. & 2.) by putting extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, garlic cloves, pine nuts, parmesan cheese (or grana padano) and salt and pepper into a food processor and whizzing it all together. I tend to blast the basil, with the garlic cloves (two on this occasion, sliced first), with most of the pine nuts first, then add the olive oil (around two tablespoons) and then the cheese and seasoning. I also keep a few pine nuts and throw them in at the end, leaving them whole. I can’t give exact measures etc, I just taste it, and have a look at the consistency to see if it needs more cheese, oil, whatever.

Next it’s time to take the chicken, make some small slits at the back end of the breasts and stuff the pesto mixture under the skin, using a spoon to push it down (3.). Then I rubbed the rest of the pesto over the outside of the chicken (4.), which I sat in a tight roasting tray.

Then I drizzled over a little bit more oil, and stuffed half a lemon and some basil inside the chicken (5.). Then, into the oven, for however long the size of chicken you have needs, and out to rest, before carving and eating (6.) with a green salad and potatoes, or green beans and other green veg for a healthy dinner!

It will look a bit brown on the outside , but the pesto under the skin will still be green and flavoursome. Yum!


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