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Pesto Baked Chicken



1 whole chicken
2 tbsp prepared pesto (store-bought, or homemade from recipe below)
1 navel orange, sliced in half horizontally
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Remove the gizzards and the strip of fat at the base of the spine from the interior of the chicken. Gently slide a small spoon in between the breast and the skin of chicken in order to loosen the skin.


1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh parmesan
1/4 cup walnut, pecan, peanut or pine nut pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup oil

Combine all of the ingredients except for the oil in food processor and puree. Add oil in stages until pesto reaches sauce consistency. Use immediately or freeze for later use.

Spoon 1 tbsp pesto between the breast and the skin of the chicken to coat the breast meat and insert orange halves into the cavity of the chicken. Drizzle olive oil over the breasts and thighs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until the temperature of the meat reaches 180 degrees and juices from the breast run clear when pierced. Slice and serve!

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