Aug 3, 2011

Pesto Butter Chicken

Pesto Butter Chicken

My basil plants went crazy after I put them in hydro pots! I kept picking them, but the leaves grew right back on leaving me with a continuous amount of fresh basil. Not a bad deal for two €2,- plants that I bought a few months ago. I’m not complaining.

Pesto!“, I thought. Okay, so I admit that was not the most exciting or brilliant plan of them all, but I do love a good home-made pesto. But then I had a change of heart.

Look what I’ve done!

The weather finally resembles summer. It was hot and humid and when it gets like that I don’t want to spend my time confined to a kitchen, slaving over a hot stove. Having said that, I  really needed some chicken for my favorite chicken macaroni salad. So it was time to fire up the pit and fix something I call my Pesto Butter Chicken.

The name kinda says it all, doesn’t it? It’s a calorie bomb alright, there’s no denying that, but it’s so SO good. Sinfully good, almost.

Not really a difficult recipe, but I did grab my camera and took a few shots to show you how I do it. Just in case inquiring minds want to know.



1 free range roast chicken
2 oz butter
lots of fresh basil
1 garlic clove
coarse sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper



You’ll need a food processor for this. Combine the basil and butter. I usually eyeball it. Crack the pepper on top and grate the garlic in there.
Pesto Butter Chicken

Add a pinch of coarse sea salt.
Pesto Butter Chicken

Blitz and voila: pesto butter.
Pesto Butter Chicken

All that’s left is the chicken. I loosened up the skin and rubbed the butter underneath it. Yup, all of it: it’s not called butter chicken for nothing!
Pesto Butter Chicken

Usually you just rub the butter underneath the breast, but I pretty much put it everywhere. The way I see it: if its got skin, it can hold my butter! It’ll keep the chicken moist and flavors it when it drips down during cooking.

Pat the skin dry with paper towels. Don’t apply butter or oil—the skin should be really dry to become perfectly crisp. Apply your rub of choice. Hers’s my favorite: Byron’s butt rub.
Pesto Butter Chicken

Apply a generous amount and season the cavity. Rub it in there, this will also massage the chicken which helps distribute the butter. Yeah, I know how weird hat sounds!
Pesto Butter Chicken

I got my Big Green Egg stable at 375˚F (175˚C).

Those who are about to roast salute you.
Pesto Butter Chicken

I always use a vertical chicken roaster. That way the butter will drip down during grilling. I placed it on top of a dripping pan to catch the excess butter. You can also use a half full beer can.

And off big bird went, straight into my egg, for about 50 minutes. It wasn’t that big a bird, really. This was the poor girl after 40 minutes.
Pesto Butter Chicken

I can’t stretch this enough: never mess around with undercooked chicken. Food safety for all. Core temperature needs to be 165°F (74Cº) in order for it to be safe. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, wrapped in aluminum foil, the meat will continue to cook during this period.

But then you have the most amazing chicken. Moist, succulent, tender and so flavorful. Not enough superlatives, really.
Pesto Butter Chicken

With a perfect crispy skin.
Pesto Butter Chicken

And that is my Pesto Butter Chicken.
Pesto Butter Chicken

You won’t be needing sauce with this one!

Pesto Butter Chicken
    1 free range roast chicken
    2 oz butter
    lots of fresh basil
    1 garlic clove
    coarse sea salt
    freshly cracked black pepper
    In a food processor you combine the basil, butter, pepper, salt and a grated garlic clove. Pulse until it’s a pesto butter.

    Loosen up the chicken’s skin and rub the butter underneath it.

    Pat the skin dry and season it with your rub of choice, also in the cavity.

    Set your Big Green Egg, BBQ or oven stable at 375˚F (175˚C).

    Put the chicken on a vertical roaster or half full beer can, and place it in a dripping pan.

    Roast the chicken in 50 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken, until it has a 165°F (74Cº) core temperature. Wrap it in aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting it.
Meal type: main course, poultry, bbq
Servings: 4
Copyright: ©

    Click here to print recipes older than 2010
    e-mail this post to a friend


    1. 1

      I LOVE the salute!  And I want a Big Green Egg!  I rarely BBQ so I can hardly justify it but that BGE might work for me…I tend to walk off and leave things to burn on a gas green so obviously that’s not my thing…hmm…maybe I just talked myself into one!  :) 

      LaJuana on Aug 3, 2011 @ 8:50 pm Reply
    2. 2

      Okay, your saluting chicken did me in. LMAO. :)  Looks yummy.  Too bad I have a BBQ ban in my building.

      Kait on Aug 3, 2011 @ 9:45 pm Reply
    3. 3

      Seriously, I just fell out of my chair. But I’m alert again and ready to make this.
      Dear Lord.

      Bev Weidner on Aug 3, 2011 @ 10:00 pm Reply
    4. 4

      So, is that basil butter or pesto butter? Pesto involves a bit more ingredients (e.g., basil, pine nuts, olive oil, parmigiano reggiano, pecorino romano, etc.)  than just basil and salt. Either way, though, the chicken looks amazing. Congrats on the new cutting board!

      Memoria on Aug 3, 2011 @ 11:12 pm Reply
      1. Pesto is a generic name for anything that is made by crushing. Well, not anything, but you catch my drift. Pesto rosso, for instance, doesn’t contain any basil at all, but it’s still a pesto. Pistou is a pesto without pine nuts and cheese. There are actually a lot of variations to the pesto alla genovese you are referring to. I call this one pesto butter :)

        Kay on Aug 3, 2011 @ 11:23 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Add a can of beer to the chicken and you got your self a beer can chicken Super moist ! Lovely pics. I noticed a change in your picture taking more close ups (macro) ? :)

      arrisje on Aug 4, 2011 @ 1:56 am Reply
      1. I mentioned you can also use a half full beer can! But did you know it’s just as amazing when you use wine in stead of beer? 

        Kay on Aug 4, 2011 @ 9:44 am Reply
    6. 6

      Thanks for the saluting chicken! Awesome and made me laugh. I am thinking of getting a big green egg. You almost have me sold on it!

      Bridget on Aug 4, 2011 @ 3:06 am Reply
      1. It’s really not a BBQ but the best outdoor kitchen you could have.

        Kay on Aug 4, 2011 @ 9:51 am Reply
    7. 7

      The ‘salute’ was hilarious, but the roasted chicken does look delicious ! The pesto butter looks awesome, loved that click too..

      Arch on Aug 4, 2011 @ 6:14 am Reply
    8. 8

      Looks Yummie like always. Question for you where do you buy that butt rubb? Do the sell this in the Netherlands too?

      Charlotte on Aug 4, 2011 @ 3:00 pm Reply
      1. Pretty soon they’ll start selling it here in NL as well!

        Kay on Aug 8, 2011 @ 12:38 pm Reply
    9. 9

      Sounds delicious…any idea what to substitute for the butt rub?  Haven’t seen that kind of thing around my home.

      Sara on Aug 4, 2011 @ 3:22 pm Reply
      1. Just use whatever rub you like. 

        Kay on Aug 8, 2011 @ 12:38 pm Reply
    10. 10

      I would love more information on your hydro pots.  I want to grow some herbs indoors. 

      Barbara on Aug 4, 2011 @ 5:44 pm Reply
      1. They’re simple two layer pots. The bottom later is basically a water reservoir that you fill twice a week. The top layer holds the plant. You put one end of a hydro cord into the earth, and the other end into the water reservoir keeping the herbs watered constantly with just the right amount of water.

        Kay on Aug 4, 2011 @ 6:01 pm Reply
    11. 11

      I hope you’re planning to post your Chicken Macaroni Salad recipe next!

      Jefta on Aug 4, 2011 @ 6:24 pm Reply
    12. 12

      thank you for answering so quickly – I am having a hard time find these in Houston.

      Barbara on Aug 4, 2011 @ 8:35 pm Reply
    13. 13

      Ik koop eigenlijk nooit een hele kip, alleen een kip die al in stukken is… Maar het ziet er weer heerlijk uit.

      Femke on Aug 4, 2011 @ 10:44 pm Reply
    14. 14

      Mag ik vragen waar je die hydropot hebt gekocht? Het lukt mij nl nooit om een basilicumplantje in leven te houden.

      Saskia on Aug 5, 2011 @ 2:52 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Lol, your saluting chicken looks brilliant! Wondering the same thing as Saskia though, where did you get those hydro pots? I googled for hydro pot… and all it came up with was weed and mariuana lol

      suzanne on Aug 6, 2011 @ 7:26 pm Reply
    16. 16

      This looks amazing! Well done.

      Suz on Aug 7, 2011 @ 3:49 pm Reply
    17. 17

      OMG this looks os good! I will be trying it one day. A quick question about your hydro pot. What is it? I love growing herbs but they always seem to dye on me. I am intrigued to learn more about it.

      Thanks for your great recipes!


      Shima on Aug 7, 2011 @ 8:46 pm Reply
    18. 18

      I made this on a spit on our gas grill and it was wonderful! So tender and juicy. Keep up the good work Kay. I love reading your recipes. Your comments make me chuckle!

      Betsy on Aug 15, 2011 @ 12:56 am Reply
    19. 19

      Lovely recept. I tried it for evening diner and loved it, same as my wife. Thanks for the recipe

      ad on Jul 15, 2012 @ 10:18 pm Reply

    RSS feed for comments on this post.

    Leave a comment