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Roast Chicken with Mint-Cilantro Pesto

Photo: Jan Smith
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 5 ounces meat)
A mini chopper is the best appliance for preparing the pesto.

Ingredients

  • 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

Nutrition 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

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.

  5. 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.