Roast chicken with basil, mint and pistachio pesto

Roast chicken with basil, mint and pistachio pesto
  • Serves icon Serves 4-6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 25 min, oven time 1 hour 12-25 min

Making your own pesto is one of the easiest – and useful – things that you can make in the kitchen. Try our basil, mint and pistachio version, then use it in this incredible roast chicken dish to really turn your Sunday lunch up a notch.

Wondering what else to pair with home-made pesto? Go for this grilled mackerel, grapefruit and pesto freaked salad.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
525kcals
Fat
24.8g (4.4g saturated)
Protein
53.5g
Carbohydrates
16.7g (2.4g sugars)
Fibre
2.4g
Salt
0.8g
Calories
525kcals
Fat
24.8g (4.4g saturated)
Protein
53.5g
Carbohydrates
16.7g (2.4g sugars)
Fibre
2.4g
Salt
0.8g

For 6

Ingredients

  • 25g shelled pistachios
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
  • 4 fresh mint sprigs, leaves roughly chopped
  • Grated zest and juice ½ lemon, plus ½ lemon
  • 125ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2kg whole free-range chicken
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 200g sourdough bread, torn into chunks
  • 200g mixed radishes, halved or quartered if large
  • 250g asparagus
  • Large handful pea shoots

Useful but not essential…

  • Digital probe thermometer

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Whizz the pistachios, basil, mint and lemon zest and juice in a mini chopper or small food processor to a rough paste. Drizzle in 100ml oil, then season and whizz to combine. Put half the pesto in a small serving dish and set aside.
  2. Put the chicken in a large shallow roasting tin. Working from the neck cavity, use your fingers to make a pocket between the skin and flesh
    of the breasts. Push the pesto under the skin of the chicken and rub any excess over the skin. Squeeze the remaining ½ lemon over the chicken, then place in the cavity. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Add the wine and 125ml water to the tin and roast for 40-50 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through. A digital probe thermometer should read 65-70°C and the juices will run clear when you insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh.
  3. Put the chicken on a board, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest. Pour the roasting juices from the tin into a jug. Add the bread, radishes and asparagus to the roasting tin, spoon off some of the fat from the top of the juices and toss it with the bread and vegetables. Season, then roast for 12-15 minutes until the veg are tender and the bread is crisp. Discard any fat from the remaining juices and warm in a pan for a gravy.
  4. Mix the remaining pesto and 25ml olive oil and drizzle over the chicken and veg. Serve with the pea shoots and gravy on the side.

delicious. tips

  1. When making pesto, if you don’t have a mini chopper or food processor, crush the flavourings (herbs, nuts, spices, cheese and so on) to a paste in a pestle and mortar, then mix in the oil – or finely chop the flavourings, put in a bowl, stir in the oil and season.

  2. The pesto will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days with the surface covered with a film of olive oil.

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