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Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1.6kg chicken

  2. 1 medium (150g) onion, quartered

  3. 1 bulb garlic, cloves separated

  4. cooking oil spray

  5. 1 teaspoon salt

  6. 8 small fresh beetroot

  7. Pesto butter

  8. 125g butter, softened

  9. 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  10. 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

  11. 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

  12. 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  13. 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

  14. NOTE: The pesto butter can be made a day ahead; recipe best made close to serving.

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. For the pesto butter, process the butter, lemon juice, basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan until almost smooth.

  2. Preheat the oven to moderate (180C/160C fan-forced).

  3. Wash the cavity of the chicken under cold water; pat dry with absorbent paper. Tuck wings under chicken. Loosen skin of the chicken by sliding fingers carefully between skin and meat. Spread half the Pesto Butter under the skin; spread mixture evenly over breast by pressing with fingers. Place the onion and two of the garlic cloves inside the chicken cavity. Tie legs of chicken together, using kitchen string.

  4. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a wire rack in a large baking dish. Spray the chicken all over with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt. Roast, uncovered, in a moderate oven for 45 minutes. Add the unpeeled beetroot to the dish; roast, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes. Add remaining unpeeled garlic cloves to dish; roast for a further 30 minutes or until chicken and beetroot are cooked when tested. Cover loosely with foil if chicken starts to over-brown.

  5. Cover chicken to keep warm; stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel beetroot.

  6. Serve chicken with beetroot, garlic and remaining pesto butter.

  7. Pesto butter suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.

  8. Photography by Brett Stevens.

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