Pesto Roast Chicken – Pesto chicken with parsley and almonds

July 2, 2020Sew White

Pesto chicken mixes two great flavours together for a fresh take on the classic roast chicken. With a mix of almonds and parsley you have a nutty and earth take for this pesto roast chicken.

This recipe first appeared in my post for Elys Wimbledon in April 2020

Pesto chicken is a go to recipe for a quick and delicious way to cook a roast chicken. By mixing fresh parsley and almonds into the rub you get extra flavours which gives a great finished chicken. It also keeps the finished pesto roast chicken super succulent and moist. No one wants dry chicken and this method really helps stop it drying out while cooking.

This is a really weird mix of ingredients but I promise you it works really well. This was the result of what do we have in the pantry to cook with. I love these moments when you don’t have a clue what to do but you try something and it works. Chicken is a good thing to experiment with as the flavour can be rather subtle to start with. Depending on what you have you can really change the finished flavour of the roast chicken.

Almond chicken

Almonds and chicken go so well together. The nuttiness really works with the subtle flavour of the chicken. By adding parsley to the almond chicken you add a lovely flavour which compliments the nutty flavour so well. If you don’t want to mix pesto into the mix you don’t have to. Try making this with the almonds, parsley and some butter to make the rub. The flavour will be slightly different but it will work so well.

pesto chicken with almonds and parsley rubbed in to a chicken in a silver baking tray ready to be cooked.

What do I need for pesto chicken?

For the pesto chicken rub you only need 6 ingredients. Plus the chicken to rub it in to.

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 150 g butter
  • 100 g ground or flaked almonds
  • handful of fresh parsley (if you don’t have any use 1 tablespoon of dried parsley, dried oregano or even herbs de Provence)
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of pesto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

The garlic will add some tingle to the finished rub, the butter helps the moisture and makes it easy to rub in. The almonds add that beautiful nuttiness and parsley add that fresh flavour. Salt and pepper adds that extra sprinkle of goodness. The olive oil helps make the rub malleable and easy to move over the chicken. Any of the rub which falls into the tray will mush down as it cooks and you can turn it into a lovely jus/gravy. Just add a little chicken stock and a bit of flour if you want to thicken it up. If you add the flour keep whisking to make a smooth gravy.

What is in pesto?

The original and most well known version of pesto is made with lots of fresh basil, coarse sea salt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It is all blitzed together and creates a beautiful dip. It’s so easy eat. For this recipe I used it as a base to add extra flavours and goodies too. Pesto can be eaten with a spoon, smeared on toast, served to dip steak into and used as a rub like in this pesto chicken recipe.

How much pesto should I use?

For this recipe I use a good two heaped tablespoons of pesto. I wanted it to be strong and pack a punch. If you want to have less of a pesto flavour you can reduce this to two normal tablespoons or even one heaped tablespoon.

What goes well with pesto chicken?

This is a beautifully light dish and the mix of parsley and almonds give it a lovely green taste. It tastes healthy and is very moreish. To serve with the roast chicken with pesto, I often do baby potatoes, big salads and sometimes roast vegetables if it’s a bit cooler. I’ve also made this chicken to take to a picnic. Made, cooked and cooled and taken with us, already sliced up to enjoy. We’ve also enjoyed this with a garlic bread, chunky chips and heirloom tomato salad.

How do I know if my chicken is cooked?

If you cut in to it and the juices run clear the chicken is fully cooked. If the juices are red or slightly pink, your chicken may need to be cooked a bit longer. Most chickens will come with a timing sticker on and you can use that to work out how long to cook it.

Healthy chicken pesto

Chicken with this delicious rub is super healthy. It’s easy to pull apart and will be super moist when served. If you have any leftovers I would recommend adding pieces into a pesto pasta sauce. It’s a great way to use up the chicken and keep the beautiful taste which has been roasted in to it.

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Pesto chicken – roast chicken with pesto

Pesto chicken mixes two great flavours together for a fresh take on the classic roast chicken. With a mix of almonds and parsley you have a nutty and earth take for this pesto roast chicken.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Roast
Cuisine: British, English, International
Keyword: almond chicken, chicken, Pesto chicken, roast chicken with pesto
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 190kcal
Author: Sisley White

Equipment

  • Baking Tray

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 150 g butter
  • 100 g ground or flaked almonds
  • handful of fresh parsley (if you don’t have any use 1 tablespoon of dried parsley, dried oregano or even herbs de Provence)
  • 2 heaped tablespoons pesto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 chicken

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/ 170ºc fan oven.
  • Add the garlic, butter, almonds, parsley, oil along with the salt and pepper to a blender.
  • Whizz it up in to a thick paste.
  • Pop the chicken into a pan.
  • Gently coat the chicken in the paste, getting it under the skin if you can.
  • Add a few flaked almonds to the top for decoration.
  • It’s ready to cook.
  • Cook as per the instructions on the chicken. It is normally about 20 minutes per pound (450g) plus 20 minutes.

Notes

If you cut into it and the juices run clear the chicken is fully cooked. If the juices are red or slightly pink, your chicken may need to be cooked a bit longer.

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10 Comments

  • Alison

    July 6, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Pesto is so delicious in the summer! Coating it on chicken is a great idea! A very flavorful summer recipe!5 stars

    1. Sew White

      July 6, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      It really helps make a coating which absorbs flavour and keeps the chicken soft and moist. Delicious.

  • Jacqueline Meldrum

    July 6, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I don’t eat chicken but I am definitely going to try that sauce. It sounds lush!5 stars

    1. Sew White

      July 6, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      You will love it. If you don’t eat butter you can add vegan spread or more olive oil.

  • Tania | Fit Foodie Nutter

    July 6, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    What a great idea to use pesto in this recipe! Love all the flavours together! This is a great recipe to entertain a crowd. Thank you Sisley x5 stars

    1. Sew White

      July 6, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      I’m so glad you like it, thank you for leaving a message x

  • jen

    July 6, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    What a great dinner idea to get us out of our normal chicken dinner routine. I love pesto!5 stars

    1. Sew White

      July 6, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      <3

  • Kushigalu

    July 6, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Never tried chicken with pesto. Sounds so flavorful. Pinned to try this soon.5 stars

    1. Sew White

      July 6, 2020 at 6:40 pm

      I’m so glad you like the idea of it. I hope you like it when you have it.

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