Roasted Chicken with Fresh Herb Pesto & Potatoes

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Source: Originally inspired by Jonathan Waxman

15 Minutes
35 minutes
Roasted Chicken with Fresh Herb Pesto & Potatoes

At first, it might sound odd, chopping up all of these herbaceous ingredients and smearing them on roasted chicken, but let us tell you... it's not. The fresh herb pesto on top of hot chicken will leave you addicted. You are going to start smearing this stuff on your chicken, fish, bike tire, whatever vessel gets it in your mouth. 



2-3 pounds of bone in chicken parts (can also be done with a whole chicken)

1.5 pounds of potatoes (red, yellow or fingerling)

1 tablespoon capers (optional but recommended)

2 anchovy filets (optional but oh so recommended)

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 bunch parsley

1 bunch arugula

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil (for chicken)

3 tablespoons olive oil (for pesto)

1 tablespoon olive oil (for potatoes)


1.   Chicken and potatoes: Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss fingerlings in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and place in bottom of  a metal or cast iron roasting pan. Season the chicken legs with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Place chicken on top of potatoes in roasting pan. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cut the lemon in half and place the halves, cut sides down, next to the chicken in the baking dish. Roast for 35 minutes, basting every 8 minutes. The chicken is done when the juices from the thighs run clear (about 165 degrees). Potatoes will be done when the chicken is done.

2.   Fresh herb pesto: Chop or mortar and pestle capers, anchovies and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice. Transfer to a large bowl. Chop all the herbs (arugula, parsley, thyme) and add to bowl along with remaining olive oil. (The mixture should be chunky, not oily.) Season with sea salt and pepper. Set aside. Can be done the day before and kept in the fridge.

3.   Plate and enjoy: After you allow the chicken to rest several minutes, plate the dish, leaning the chicken legs against the potatoes. Spoon a generous portion of the pesto over the hot chicken. Don’t be shy, it is crazy delicious. Serve and enjoy.

We recommend serving alongside a mixed green salad or sautéed green beans.

Pairs nicely with a good Pinot Noir


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