Before I move into talking about 600 ways to use zucchini – it is, after all, nearly that time of year – I want to discuss this garlic scape pesto more. Have I mentioned how peppery and garlicky and creamy and generally delicious it is? Yes? Well, it is. I like this pesto, and I wanted to come up with ways to use it. After all, I made 1/2 cup for my first batch, and then plenty more with the giant bag of scapes. (I’m pretty sure this pizza, which Jeanne told me about on twitter, is in my future.)
Remember way back at the beginning of this blog, when I told you how much I like roasting chicken? Well, I bought a chicken at the greenmarket the same day that I got all of those garlic scapes. I enjoy experimenting with chicken, and it’s hard to screw up. I started thinking that the pesto could be a good rub between the skin and the meat, plus I had that lemon that I’d used for the juice in the pesto, and those potatoes from my CSA, and those green beans from the greenmarket…
Pesto Roasted Chicken with Potatoes
2 or 3 potatoes
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion (about the size of a tennis ball)
1 chicken (I usually get a 3 lb bird for the two of us)
1/4 c garlic scape pesto
Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash potatoes and chop into one-inch pieces. Add potatoes to a baking pan (I used my 9 x 13 pyrex dish lined with aluminum foil) and toss with olive oil. Peel onion, and slice lemon and onion into 1/2-inch thick rounds.
Rinse chicken with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to separate the skin from the meat as best you can. I try to separate it on the thighs and back as well as the breasts. You want to separate the skin enough to get your hands under it.
Using your hands, spread the pesto under the skin. It’s gloppy and messy, but do your best to coat the chicken evenly everywhere you lifted the skin. Use about 1 tbsp of the pesto on top of the skin and inside the cavity.
Once you’re done giving your bird a pesto rubdown, take the lemon and onion slices and stuff them inside the cavity. I never keep twine around to tie the drumsticks, so what I do is cut a little slice in the skin near each of them, and then you can tuck the end of the drumstick through that to hold them in place.
Push the potatoes to the sides of the baking dish, making room for the chicken in the middle. Put the chicken in the center of the dish, and sprinkle salt and pepper over it and the potatoes (especially over the potatoes).
Bake for about an hour and twenty minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the thighs (Make sure you aren’t hitting a bone).
Allow the chicken to rest, breast-side down, under a foil tent for about ten minutes before carving and serving.