CSA: Jen & Derek’s Organic Farm/Barnyard Organics

Rotisserie Chicken with Garlic Scape Pesto

I love the versatility of pesto and seem to make a big batch every other week.  This week’s pesto was a mixture of several items that were hiding in the back of my vegetable drawer.  I threw in some spinach, garlic scapes and of coarse basil.  When I use garlic scapes in a pesto, I always like to add some other greens to help with the strong flavour that the scapes give the pesto. IMGP2978

I knew today that I wanted to make chicken but was undecided on how to cook it when I pulled it out of the freezer.  My dad suggested that he rotisserie the chicken, which is a family favourite around here.  I wanted to jazz up the chicken so I decided to rub some pesto under the skin before we started to cook it.  I have to say that this was some of the best chicken that we have eaten in a long time.  If you have a rotisserie attachment for your BBQ, I highly suggest that you give this a try.  If you aren’t lucky enough to have a rotisserie attachment, try this method with the pesto on a roasted chicken. IMGP2973

Rotisserie Chicken with Garlic Scape Pesto

For the pesto:
1 cup of garlic scapes (about 10-12)
1 cup of basil
1 cup of spinach
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds (or your favourite nut)
1/2 tsp of salt
extra garlic cloves (if desired) I like my pesto very garlicy
1 tbsp vinegar (red wine or white wine)
1/4-1/3 cup of light oil (avocado, olive) ** you want this pesto to look a little dry so that the  oil doesn’t drip all over your chicken while cooking**

1 whole chicken

For the pesto:
1. Pile the ingredients into your food processor, except for the oil.
2. With the food processor running, start streaming the oil through the top and continue to blend until the pesto is smooth and creamy.  IMGP2963

For the chicken:
1. Gently create a pocket under the skin of the chicken on the breast and legs.  Make sure to be gentle during this process so that you do not break the skin.  You want the skin to remain intact so that the pesto doesn’t run out during the cooking process.
2. Slather the pesto under the skin everywhere you can.  You can even rub some pesto into the middle cavity of the chicken for some extra flavour.
3. Allow the chicken to sit with the pesto on for at least a couple of hours or even overnight to allow the flavours to permeate the meat.
4.  When you are ready to cook: Truss the chicken.  This helps seal the cavity of the chicken and keep it from flopping around on the rotisserie.  Here is helpful video from http://ruhlman.com/2010/07/how-to-truss-a-chicken/ if you have never done this before.
5.  Preheat your grill: Remove the grill grates from grill and place a shallow baking pan in their place. The pan will catch drippings and prevent flare-ups. Set the grill for medium-high to high heat and preheat to 375°F.  I find it best to turn the two side burners on and leave the middle burner off if you have a three burner BBQ.
6.  Secure the chicken onto your rotisserie spit and cook over indirect heat for two hours or until the chicken has reached an internal temperate of 165F.  The skin should be golden brown and crispy.  The areas where the pesto is under the skin may turn almost a dark brown or black, don’t worry if this happens.
7.  Let the chicken rest for about 15-20 mins before cooking to help keep it juicy and delicious.  Enjoy!!




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