Every family has their own tradition for family dinners, my favorite involve a big roast bird. However, making gravy and stuffing that classically accompanies a roast chicken can be a big undertaking.
This easy roast chicken recipe uses only one dish and comes with a side of sweet potatoes. It even makes it’s own pesto gravy. Make a fresh green salad to go with it and open a bottle of wine.
Feel free to use a store bought pesto to make this an even easier recipe. That said, in late June and early July herbs tend to be beautiful and plentiful, so why not make your own pesto? As someone who had to wash the food processor by hand, I can attest it is worth it.
Pesto Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes Recipe(serves 4)
Turn your oven on to 400F. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into approximately 1-1 1/2″ pieces. Put the pieces in a large casserole big enough to set the chicken on top. Add about 1/4 cup of the pesto and toss the sweet potatoes well to evenly distribute. Rinse and pat dry the chicken and remove the neck and any gizzards or kidneys. Put both halves of the lemon inside the cavity along with the fresh sage.
Take about 1/4 cup of the pesto and rub it all over the chicken. Put the chicken breast side down and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and flip the chicken over. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and dot with the butter. Place back in the oven.
Check on the chicken every 15 minutes or so and baste with the butter and juices. It is done when the juices run clear, though I like to use a thermometer to be sure. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and gently tent with foil.
While the chicken is cooling, remove sweet potatoes from the casserole and spoon off any excess fat from the sauce and discard. Carve chicken and serve with any remaining pesto sauce on the side.