Little Green Spoon's Pesto Roast Chicken

Roast chicken has always been one of my favourite dinners. Whether it's a Sunday lunch feast or just a casual roast chicken with a crunchy salad, it always satisfies. It's so easy to stick with the same recipe time and time again, but it can be a little boring, so I like to spruce it up a little and play around with different seasonings. This recipe is such a winner, and it's barely any more effort than your everyday bird. The layer of fresh pesto beneath the crispy skin tastes incredible, as do the roasted root vegetables that are flavoured in the fragrant basil, too.

Serves 4


1.75Kg Chicken
600g of Root Vegetables (Carrots, Parsnips, etc.)
1 Onion
1/2 Lemon
Cherry Tomatoes
Coarse Salt & Pepper
For the Pesto:
30g of Fresh Basil
100ml of Olive Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
35g (1/4 Cup of Pine Nuts)



- Preheat the oven to 180'C.
- Peel and chop your vegetables. Place your chicken in the centre of a large roasting dish and place the vegetables tightly around it. I like to throw in a few cherry tomatoes too.
- Push half a lemon into the chicken cavity. Use your fingers to pinch the skin around the chicken breasts to loosen it a bit. Then slide your fingers under the skin, separating the skin from the meat all along the breast.
- Add the pine nuts to a pan on medium heat and toast them for a few minutes until golden brown, tossing regularly. While the pine nuts are on, add the basil, olive oil and minced garlic to your food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add in the toasted pine nuts and blend to combine, and then add the pesto to a bowl.
- Using a spoon, spread some of the pesto under the skin of the chicken breasts. You want a thin layer under the entire breast skin. Add a spoonful of pesto to the cavity also. Spoon the remaining pesto over the vegetables, tossing them so that they are evenly coated. Drizzle some olive oil over the top of the chicken and sprinkle the chicken and vegetables with a good pinch of coarse salt and pepper.
- Roast at 180'C for 80-90 minutes. To test if the chicken is done, slice between the leg and the breast, if the juices run clear, then the chicken should be cooked.

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free and paleo. For more healthy recipes, both sweet and savoury, check out and follow Indy on Instagram @thelittlegreenspoon and Twitter @littlegspoon


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