Difficulty rating: 3 chef's hats (out of 5)
Prep/Total Time: 10 minutes for Pesto, 50 minutes for Chicken
As a chicken producer, we raise and eat a lot of chicken and getting our kids to keep eating chicken and loving it can be a challenge. This recipe is something we discovered one year when we grew a lot of basil and it’s now a family favorite. It sounds fussy, but it couldn’t be easier. The juice on the bottom of the pan is what makes this chicken so good. Pesto can be expensive, but if you grow your own basil it’s not too bad.
To make the pesto, add the walnuts and garlic to a food processor and grind. Add basil and cheese and salt and continue processing. Add oil while processing to the thickness you desire.
Thaw the chicken and cut into parts. We usually just leave the legs and thighs connected. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Remember to practice good food safety!
Pre-heat the oven to 450F. Put 1 tbsp of butter in a roasting pan and place it in the oven until melted. Add the chicken parts, skin side up, and cook at 450F for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and spread on ¼ of the basil. Turn each piece over and spread another ¼ of the basil on the chicken. Roast for another 10 minutes then turn the chicken over again and spread on another ¼ of the basil. Cook until done (about 35 minutes total cooking time). When done remove from the oven and spread the remaining basil all over the chicken pieces.
Remove the juices from the bottom of the pan and pour over the chicken at serving. Delicious!!!
Inspired by Jason Fischbach of Pasture Perfect Poultry near Ashland, WI
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