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Lemon Pesto Chicken

Lemon Pesto Chicken 1

This particular experiment was inspired by not much more than a need to use some basil I had in the fridge before it wilted away. I had a couple of chicken pieces set aside for supper and I decided it would be nice to bake them with a nice pesto marinade. A little lemon zest, I thought, might add a nice little sparkle of flavor…

The Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs. Chicken pieces;
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Basil;
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian Flat-leafed Parsley;
  • 1 tbsp. minced Garlic;
  • 1 tbsp. finely minced Lemon Zest;
  • ¾ tsp. Salt;
  • ½ tsp. ground Black Pepper;
  • 2 – 3 tbsp. Olive Oil;

The Method

Lemon Pesto Chicken 2

Use a mortar and pestle to grind all the flavoring ingredients to a smooth paste, adding the olive oil a little at a time as you do so.

Lemon Pesto Chicken 3

Slash the chicken pieces in several places to allow the marinade to penetrate and then rub the paste all over them, making sure to get some under the skin and deep into the slashes. Allow to sit and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Lemon Pesto Chicken 4

Bake the chicken on a wire rack at 325 degrees for 60 minutes or so.

The Verdict

Lemon Pesto Chicken 5

A very simple little recipe, with a very pleasant result… I was a little surprised that the parsley turned out to be a little more assertive than the basil, but this actually worked nicely. The lemon zest gave only a hint of it’s presence and although I thought at first that I perhaps should have used a little more, by the end of he meal, I concluded that the subtlety of it was just right. I really enjoyed this supper…


17 Comments Post a comment
  1. I have to cook western food, preferably Italian style, for my son and Chinese daughter in law when they arrive to visit Ireland with my new grandson in 10 days time and I’m out of practice. So this lovely simple recipe goes straight to the top of the list 🙂

    May 22, 2013
  2. Sounds delicious.
    🙂 Mandy

    May 22, 2013
  3. home-made pesto….i need to learn …may try it out some day!

    May 22, 2013
  4. Roast chicken is good but you definitely made it better with your pesto.

    May 22, 2013
  5. I like your addition of lemon to the pesto. This sounds like a lovely dish to even cook out on the BBQ.

    May 22, 2013
  6. Some of my favorite flavors for sure! Sounds great. Homemade pesto truly kicks it up a notch too!
    Thank you for sharing

    May 22, 2013
  7. oh, perfect timing! I pick up my CSA shares on Wednesdays and now I’m going to get some free range chicken at the farm! This looks lovely, my favorite chicken is Tuscan Lemon-rosemary on the grill! This sounds even better!

    May 22, 2013
  8. Yep, my absolutely favorite one ! Would love to try it again following your recipe 🙂

    May 22, 2013
  9. Liz #

    love the simplicity here–vibrant colors, too. Looks like a recipe to file 🙂

    May 22, 2013
  10. Very nice indeed.

    May 23, 2013
  11. You make pesto sound easy to make. For some reason I was always afraid of it. I don’t know why. I’m going to give this a try. Thanks.

    May 23, 2013
  12. Nice dish! I think it’s the different reaction to heat: parsley intensifies with heat, whereas basil fades. This is why there aren’t many recipes where basil is cooked. Parsley is most often used raw as well, but also sautéed with garlic (this is called trifolato in Italian).

    May 25, 2013
    • Actually, when I sautee parsely with garlic in butter I call it ‘gharsley’ butter 🙂

      May 25, 2013
  13. Looks very delicious! 😉

    May 26, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Well, it was a holiday… wasn’t it? | Mimosa Mornings Writers
  2. Lemon Pesto Chicken | Janak Mistry

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