Roast Chicken with Mint-Cilantro Pesto

Roast Chicken with Mint-Cilantro PestoRecipe
Photo: Jan Smith
A mini chopper is the best appliance for preparing the pesto.


4 servings (serving size: 5 ounces meat)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 250
Caloriesfromfat 38 %
Fat 10.6 g
Satfat 2.7 g
Monofat 4.4 g
Polyfat 2.3 g
Protein 35.6 g
Carbohydrate 0.6 g
Fiber 0.2 g
Cholesterol 106 mg
Iron 1.9 mg
Sodium 403 mg
Calcium 24 mg


1 (3 3/4-pound) whole roasting chicken
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375°.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

Combine mint leaves and the next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Rub herb mixture under loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back, and tuck under chicken. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack coated with cooking spray, and place rack in a roasting pan.

Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 450°, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 170°. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove skin from chicken; discard. Carve chicken, and serve immediately.