Pesto Roast Chicken
20g/¾oz fresh basil, chopped
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
50g/2oz/⅓ cup pinenuts (pignoli)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 x 1.4kg/3lb chicken
salt and ground black pepper
roast potatoes and green vegetables to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. To make the pesto, put the basil, Parmesan, pinenuts and oil in a food processor and mix to a rough paste. (Alternatively, grind the ingredients using a mortar and pestle.) Season to taste.
2 Put the chicken in a roasting pan. Ease your fingers under the skin of the neck end to separate the breast skin from the flesh, then push about three-quarters of the pesto under the skin, using your hands to spread it evenly. Smear the remainder over the chicken legs.
3 Season with pepper and roast for 1 hour 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer.
4 Cover the chicken loosely with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve with roast potatoes and green vegetables or salad.