Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Roast Chicken with Walnut Pesto

I decided to post this recipe (even though it is so simple to make I am loathe to call it a ‘recipe’) because it uses the walnut pesto that I made recently to great effect. This is a dish packed full of lovely fresh flavours and was received with great enthusiasm by my gang!

I have used my homemade walnut pesto, but you could always use regular pesto made with basil, pine nuts and parmesan or indeed a store-bought version. Buying a premade pesto would also make this an even quicker meal to prepare and make which, given the busy lives that we all have these days, is a great thing. 

I kept it simple and added lemon, red onions and a couple of halved garlic bulbs to the roasting tray, but you could add other vegetables if you like. This is definitely one of those mix-and-match dishes and I would encourage you to experiment. The walnut pesto which I added after roasting the chicken was wonderful and really complemented the other ingredients. You could add the pesto before cooking the chicken but I find that it tends to discolour, so prefer to add it to the finished dish just before serving, where it retains more of its fresh flavour.

Ingredients:

2 large red onions, peeled and quartered
2 bulbs of garlic cut horizontally through the middle (no need to peel)
2 lemons, chopped into chunks
6 skin-on chicken breasts
2tblsp runny honey
2tblsp olive oil
100ml dry white wine
2 sprigs of rosemary
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
2 generous tblsp walnut pesto (or regular pesto if preferred)
 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200C/Fan Oven 180C/Gas Mark 6. Place the onions, garlic and lemons in a roasting dish large enough to hold the chicken breasts when placed in a single layer.
2. Rub the honey into the skin of the chicken breasts and place on the vegetables in the roasting tray. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken breasts. Add the wine to the roasting dish and tuck the sprigs of rosemary around the chicken. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
3. When ready, the chicken breasts should be a deep golden brown and the juices should run clear when pierced with a sharp knife. The garlic should be soft and almost buttery in texture. Discard the sprigs of rosemary and serve with the walnut pesto spooned over.

Serves 4-6.