Roasted Chicken with Pistachio and Arugula Pesto
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 2
  • 1 3½ lb whole chicken
  • 4 whole carrots, peeled
  • Kitchen twine
  • ¼ cup roasted and salted pistachios
  • 4 cups packed arugula
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ pound brussels sprouts, quartered
  • ¼ pound asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rinse chicken inside and out with water. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Place carrots in the bottom of a large cast-iron skillet or roasting pan. Place chicken on top. Tie chicken legs together with twine.
  3. In a food processor, add pistachios, arugula, lemon juice, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, and salt. Pulse until the mixture becomes a paste, if needed scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. With the mixer on, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Again, if needed scape down the sides with a spatula. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Using your fingers, gently release the skin from the breast meat. Take two heaping tablespoons of the pesto and spread it underneath the skin. Rub chicken with canola oil, sprinkle LIBERALLY with salt.
  5. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and roast for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and take a few tablespoons of the fat that's accumulated in the pan and toss it with the veggies. Season veggies with salt and pepper. Add to the sides of the pan. Place back in the oven and continue to cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees, about another 15 minutes.
  6. Once the chicken comes out of the oven, spread with another two tablespoons of pesto all over the chicken. Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting.
  7. Serve with remaining pesto.
Recipe by Cooking for Keeps at