Serve a whole chicken recipe for an easy dinner tonight. The presentation is elegant, but the preparation is a breeze.

Recipe by Cooking Light October 2003


Credit: Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

Recipe Summary test

6 servings (serving size: about 5 ounces)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450°.

  • To prepare pesto, combine first 7 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

  • To prepare chicken, remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub pesto under loosened skin and over breast and drumsticks. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place chicken, breast side up, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; bake at 450° for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove chicken from oven); bake an additional 1 1/2 hours or until a thermometer registers 180°. Let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Nutrition Facts

298 calories; calories from fat 39%; fat 12.9g; saturated fat 3.1g; mono fat 4.7g; poly fat 3.4g; protein 42.1g; carbohydrates 1.2g; fiber 0.3g; cholesterol 126mg; iron 2mg; sodium 345mg; calcium 38mg.