Kale & Walnut Pesto Chicken www.wildeorchard.co.uk

Hi Pesto lovers! How’s it goin? I’m gonna apologise now about this Kale + Walnut Pesto Chicken, cause it’s not really authentic, if ya know what I mean. If you’re a pesto purist, look away now.

I’m not really sorry that I took traditional pesto and gave it a shake up. My confession: I hate traditional pesto! I have no idea why…

Okay that’s not true. I do know why and I completely accept if you don’t want to be friends any more… but  it’s just that I’m not a basil fan. I know… tell me about it. It would be so much easier if I was. People look at me like I’m some kind of animal when it comes up.

Kale & Walnut Pesto Chicken www.wildeorchard.co.uk

Whatever the case, I think this pesto made with blanched kale and walnuts kicks regular pesto’s butt. It just seems earthier and I suppose more fitting to fall nights. I used blanched kale and toasted walnuts to make this pesto. In place of the garlic I used smoked garlic. It’s completely fine if you can’t find smoked garlic to use regular. The usual parmesan made an appearance, too.

Kale & Walnut Pesto Chicken www.wildeorchard.co.uk

And chicken… let’s talk chicken. Mine is free range and corn fed. All. The. Time. It may not seem like the time or place to talk about it, but we just buy meat that has been ethically reared and processed. It tastes so much better and we know that when we buy that kind of meat, a farmer is being paid fairly for doing things properly.

Does it cost more? Yes. But, cost isn’t really the issue. Ethical animal welfare is the issue. Not to mention that it tastes so much better. And we are all about flavour first (who isn’t?).

The chicken we just roasted and stuffed with a lemon cut in half and some more garlic. And rosemary. Of course rosemary.

Kale & Walnut Pesto Chicken www.wildeorchard.co.uk

It’s a quick and simple roast chicken with some fall pesto sauce. What’s not to love?

Serves: 4
  • 1x 1.5kg chicken
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • For the Pesto
  • 55g walnuts
  • 1 red chilli
  • 150g kale leaves blanched
  • large handful of flat leaf parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • large hand full of manchego or parmesan
  • salt and cracked black pepper.
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c
  2. pour the 3 tbsp of olive oil and rub into the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut the lemon in half and place it in the cavity of the chicken along with the rosemary.
  4. Roast the chicken for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the chicken is golden and cooked through.
  5. For the pesto boil a large pot of well salted boiling water and blanche the kale leaves.
  6. Place the kale leaves in a food processor and blitz.
  7. Add the walnuts and the chilli and blitz again.
  8. Process the kale mixture and in a slow steady stream add the olive oil.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
 Source: Wilde Orchid



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