Roast chicken is always a crowd pleaser and this Italian inspired pesto chicken accompanied with a side of delicious chunky roast vegetables is a fantastic way to upgrade standard roast chicken for an elegant dinner party.
Preheat the oven to gas 2, 150°C, fan 130°C. Spread the onion out in roasting tin and drizzle with the oil.
Starting at the cavity end of the chicken, gently ease the skin away from the breast and insert 3 tablespoons of pesto in the gap. Using your fingers, smooth the skin back over the chicken, spreading the pesto out underneath. Rub the skin with a little seasoning. Put the garlic in the cavity.
Transfer the chicken to the tin, breast-side up. Tie the legs loosely with string. Pour the stock and wine into the pan, and then cover with foil – ensuring the edges are sealed. Roast for 2 hours or until cooked through and the juice run clear.
Meanwhile, toss the vegetables with the olive oil. Season well and spread out over a large baking tray. Set aside.
Increase the oven temperature to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C gas 6. Remove the foil from the chicken and spoon over the remaining pesto. Return to the oven along with the veg and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, until golden.
Remove the chicken from the oven and cover loosely with foil. Leave to rest for 20-30 minutes, until the veg is cooked. Serve the chicken with the veg and roasting juices. Garnish with the basil and rocket, if you like.
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