pesto roasted chicken

I have basil coming out of my ears.

A few weeks ago, I spent over an hour at the sink rinsing and stemming the basil I’d cut from my garden, and I wound up with a mixing bowl packed with fresh basil. You would have thought I had massacred the garden for this basil, but the garden appeared untouched, despite my ten cups of basil leaves. I then spent a long, long time with my mini-Cuisinart making small batches of pesto. I froze some in ice cubes, so I now have enough pesto on hand to last me through next year.  I also oven-dried some of the basil, with great success. So now, I and the basil gods offer you pesto roasted chicken.

Once you’ve made the pesto (which goes really fast if you have a larger food processor, and are not stemming and washing a zillion cups of basil, but rather a more manageable amount), this dish comes together super easy. All you do is spread the pesto on the bird, pop it in the oven, and wait. A juicy, fresh, summery roast chicken greets you after about an hour.

Pesto Roasted Chicken
Adapted from Southern Food
Serves 4

You will need:
1 roasting chicken, washed and dried
1/4 cup pesto (See this recipe to make fresh pesto, or just use the jarred stuff)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper

Rub about half of the pesto under the skin of the chicken, and about half on top of the chicken. Put the sliced lemon and fresh basil leaves in the bird cavity. Sprinkle the bird with salt and pepper. Roast in a 425 degree oven until the meatiest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest about ten minutes before carving.


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