Had enough of pesto pasta? Give it a miss this time and use your basil pesto for this mind-blowing baked pesto chicken today!
Sorry for being missing in action friends! I am right here and sound and safe! Went on a wonderful vacation with family and now I am back with a bang! Today’s recipe is the mind-blowing baked pesto chicken and trust me I am not adding the adjective ‘mind-blowing’ just for the sake of it! With the abundance of basil leaves in our kitchen garden, we have had enough of basil pesto pasta. I wanted to use my pesto differently this time but didn’t have enough time to give too much thought to it. So, I simply took my pesto, slathered it on the chicken drumsticks and shoved them to the oven. That’s all there is to this recipe of baked pesto chicken! And you ask me the outcome? I told you already! M-i-n-d-b-l-o-w-i-n-g!
This baked pesto chicken is not a carefully crafted recipe. I don’t even know if there exists any such classic recipe called ‘baked pesto chicken’. May be there is but I didn’t adapt any this time. I only wanted to use my homemade basil pesto differently and that’s how baked pesto chicken materialized. I like such swift recipes which turns out great even without too much research. Basil pesto is already a favorite thing of mine; but only the homemade ones! The bottled ready-made pesto available in the supermarkets sucks big time (I can’t stress enough how gross they are!)! So, coming back to the point, when my favorite pesto gives a makeover to our favorite chicken, then the outcome has to be something special and that’s exactly what this baked pesto chicken is!
We had another relaxing vacation in Kerala. This time we went up the hills of Munnar and also touched the wildlife in Thekkady. Both are amazing places and you can’t get enough of these places no matter for how long you stay there. Such places remind me of our connection with nature and I just want to become a part of it for good. I wish it would have been possible! But no! We had to be back to our world of concretes and we are back now. While re-settling into the daily routine, my blog space suffered a bit. It was temporary and now I will be here frequently. But honestly this break was very much needed given the stress we deal with daily in our everyday life.
If you are planning to make this baked pesto chicken but don’t have homemade basil pesto, I would suggest you couple of things. First, do try making basil pesto at home; it is the easiest condiment you can make at home and there is no cooking involved; just the whizzing in your food grinder. But, if you can’t get your hands-on fresh basil at the moment, you can pick your pesto from the supermarket. My only suggestion is to choose the organic ones. My problem with readymade pesto is the chemically smell which the brands add to increase shelf life; I am hoping the organic ones will be free of it. Do give this baked pesto chicken a try and this pesto chicken is an out-and-out winner. I am sure you and your family will love it as much as we did! Enjoy!
- Chicken drumsticks – 6, skin-on
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp
- Garlic – 8 to 10 cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Basil pesto – 1 cup (Get the recipe here)
- Wash and pat dry the chicken drumsticks. Make few slashes on the meaty areas of the drumsticks using a sharp knife.
- Add minced garlic, basil pesto, salt and pepper to taste to the drumsticks and give a very good mix making sure the marinade goes inside the cuts of the chicken.
- Marinade the chicken for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- When you are ready to roast, preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F and place the rack at the top most level.
- Arrange the marinated chicken on a roasting tin keeping enough gap between pieces. You can line the roasting tin with aluminum foil for easier cleaning.
- Brush 1 tablespoon of oil on top of each chicken pieces.
- Place the roasting tin on the wire rack at top level and roast the chicken using the broil mode. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes first, then flip them over and brush the remaining oil on top. Finally broil them for another 30 to 35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and charred. You can check the internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer and it must register at least 165 F.
- Serve the baked pesto chicken warm with some lemon wedges and your favorite beverage!