Pistachio, Basil and Mint Pesto Roasted Chicken with Asparagus

Pistachio, Basil and Mint Pesto Roasted Chicken with Asparagus


Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350° f, or gas mark 4. Take your chicken out of the fridge and pat the chicken with kitchen towel to dry the skin.

Put the pistachios, mint, basil, lemon zest, ½ of the lemon juice and olive oil into a food processor and whizz to combine. Add the salt and a bit of pepper to season. Place half of the pesto into a bowl and set aside.

Place the chicken in a large roasting tin. Starting at the neck cavity use your fingers to separate the skin and the flesh of the breasts, making space to push the pesto under the skin. (Do this carefully/gently so the skin does not rip). Now push the pesto under the skin of the chicken, using your hands works best. Rub any leftover pesto over the top on the chicken. Pour the rest of the lemon juice over the top of the chicken and place your used lemon half into the cavity.

Cook the chicken for 15 minutes per lbs (450g) plus an extra 20 minutes. After 20 minutes of cooking add the wine, water and whole crushed garlic cloves to the roasting tin and put the chicken back in the oven until cooked (when the juices run clear when the deepest part of the thigh is pierced with a thin skewer). If the skin catches, cover in tin foil whilst cooking.

Take the chicken out of the roasting tin, cover in tin foil and let it rest on a board.  Pour the juices from the roasting tin into a jug and set aside. Add the asparagus, radishes and sourdough into the roasting tin and add a little fat/juice from the jug and toss the ingredients until coated. Season and roast for 15 minutes until the bread is crispy and asparagus tender.

Warm up the leftover juices and use for a light gravy on the side. Use your remaining pesto to drizzle over the chicken and sides when serving. Use the pea shoots or watercress to accompany the dish.


Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 85 mins
Oven Temperature: 180°C, 350° f, or gas mark 4


  • One Sutton Hoo Chicken (giblets removed)
  • 3 large garlic cloves crushed with the skin on
  • 150g sourdough, torn into chunks
  • 200g radishes, halved
  • 2 bunches of fresh asparagus
  • 1 bag of watercress or pea shoots
  • 125ml white wine
  • 125ml water
  • Juice ½ lemon

For the Pesto

  • 25g shelled pistachios
  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil (chopped)
  • 4 mint sprigs (chopped)
  • 2 large pinches of salt
  • 1 lemon, ½ grated zest and ½ juice of lemon
  • 1 large clove of garlic or 2 small cloves (chopped)
  • 200ml extra- virgin olive oil
  • alternatively try 1 jar of Mr Organic Italian Basil Pesto 

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