Ok. I have certainly had my fill of all kinds of ridiculous food in the last few weeks. Cookies, cakes, pizza, pancakes and every other type of carb you can think of. But now I’m done. Really done. We got back from vacation today and I am ready to start the New Year fresh. I am doing a few days of whole foods (like a “just say no” policy to sugar, flour and butter for a while) and then I am totally buckling down for a homemade 3 day juice cleanse. My waistline is in serious need of a “re-set.” Then we are all fresh and flavorful here for at LEAST the next 8 weeks. OK with you guys?
So today I am making one of my new favorite roast chicken recipes for my family. Roast chicken is one of my tricks to keeping on track with healthy eating because if its convenience. I love that I can make it for dinner and then use the leftovers for a salad, followed by the bones and scraps which can be used for soup.
The beauty of this particular recipe is that all of the flavor comes from a ½ cup of basil pesto and fresh lemon juice. You can totally make homemade pesto, but in the name of convenience, I bought this in the fresh deli section at my local grocery store. I just lifted up the skin on the breasts of the chicken and rubbed it under the skin like I would do so with a compound butter. But the beauty of this is that it has an olive oil base and tons of fresh basil so I don’t have to add any extra fat. It cooks up crispy and full of flavor and then gets a hit of freshness from some roasted lemon wedges. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
Recipe: Pesto Roasted Chicken
- 1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs)
- ½ cup fresh prepared basil pesto
- kosher salt and pepper
- 4 lemons, cut into large wedges.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get out a sheet pan or roasting pan.
- Place the chicken on the pan and then gently put your fingers in between the skin and the muscle to separate. Scoop up the pesto with your fingers and shove in the space between the muscle and skin. On the legs, just rub the extra pesto over the legs and the rest of the skin.
- Roast the chicken for 60 minutes and then add the lemon wedges for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time.
- When you remove the chicken after 75 minutes total, the skin should be golden and crispy. Slice and serve with a roasted lemon wedge to squeeze over it.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4