PESTO ROASTED CHICKEN
Autumn is my favorite time of the year because of all of the beautiful colors and hearty food that we tend to cook when when weather starts to get chilly. As the temperature starts to drop, I like to heat it up in the kitchen. This is the time of year my oven, stove and crock pot get the most use. Here is my recipe for PESTO ROASTED CHICKEN. It is very simple and even on a busy schedule (especially as the holidays approach, can you believe it?) you can create a meal that even the pickiest taste buds will sing.
NOTE: save all of your trimmings as noted for your ROASTED CHICKEN STOCK to make soups with.
-1 whole fresh organic roasting chicken (about 5 pounds), leave skin on, allow to be in room temperature 30 minutes
-1 large organic lemon, halved and juiced (reserve rind for stock )
-5 large fresh organic garlic cloves, finely chopped (reserve peels for stock)
-1/4 cup fresh organic basil leaves, finely chopped (from your window herb garden)
-1/2 tsp. fresh ground pink sea salt
-1/4 cup organic olive oil
-large crock pot
-1 cup water
After un-wrapping your roasting chicken, remove giblet bag and reserve for your stock, rinse and pat dry with paper towel and set into your cold crock pot. Mix the lemon juice, garlic, basil, salt and olive oil in a small bowl; this is your pesto mixture. Using your fingers, gently go under skin of the chicken (between skin and meat) on all parts (except the wings) to create pockets for your pesto mixture, be sure not to tear the skin. NOTE: there is a thin membrane between the skin and meat. Using your hand, scoop up small amounts (1/4 cup tops) of the solids of the pesto mixture, no need to squeeze out oil/juice and rub into the pockets you have just made. Be sure to get evenly under the skin of the whole chicken. Now take the remaining oil/juice and completely rub the outside of the chicken, be sure to cover evenly. Place the prepared chicken with the breast down and now add the water to the bottom of the crock pot. Do not pour water on the chicken. Place all reserved items in a labeled re-sealable gallon plastic bag and place in your freezer for your roasted chicken stock. Set crock pot on LOW, cover and roast for about 4 hours or until medium golden brown and temperature of thickest part of breast is at 155 degrees. Turn the pot off and allow to remain in crock pot for 30 minutes covered. Remove chicken from pot onto a wooden cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Immediately serve.
NOTE: be sure to save all the bones and fat from the cooked chicken and put into your stock freezer bag in the freezer for your roasted chicken stock. If you are immediately making stock, just follow this recipe provided ROASTED CHICKEN STOCK