roast chicken and spring vegetables with carrot top and walnut pesto recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Sheet Pan Roast Chicken and Spring Vegetables with Carrot Top and Walnut Pesto

This post is sponsored by Diamond of California Nuts.

In this recipe a whole chicken is broken down and arranged on a sheet pan with an assortment of spring vegetables and lemon. The chicken is then roasted until golden brown and crispy for an easy weeknight dinner. The best part about this dish is that it’s all made on one pan, making for extremely easy cleanup.

The chicken and vegetables are topped with a carrot top and walnut pesto, utilizing the entirety of the carrots and leaving minimal waste. I feel good about this because I always think the tops look so pretty at the grocery store or farmers market but hate throwing them away. I use Diamond of California walnuts for the walnut pesto -- the toasted walnuts add an earthiness to the sauce and the carrot tops have a subtle carrot taste as well.



For the roast chicken and spring vegetables:

1 (4½ -pound) whole chicken

12 ounces baby carrots, peeled

1 pound peewee potatoes

1 bunch medium radishes, halved

½ pound asparagus, trimmed

1 medium lemon, thinly sliced

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the carrot top and walnut pesto:

¼ cup diced walnuts

½ (packed) cup carrot tops, roughly chopped

½ (packed) cup flat-leaf parsley

½ medium shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Kosher salt, as needed



For the sheet pan roast chicken and spring vegetables:

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Remove backbone from chicken and discard. Break the chicken down into 10 parts by separating the wings, the thighs, the legs and the breasts (each halved).

Arrange the chicken, carrots, potatoes, radishes, asparagus and lemon slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Slide your fingers under the skin of the chicken and push the butter under the skin. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and vegetables and season with salt and pepper.

Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp and golden brown, about 40 minutes.


For the carrot top and walnut pesto:

Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the walnuts and toast until they are fragrant and just begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.


Add the walnuts, carrot tops, parsley, shallot, garlic and olive oil to a blender and pulse until combined. Remove to a small-mixing bowl and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and Pecorino Romano. Season to taste with salt and set aside.


For serving:

Divide the vegetables and chicken among plates and top with carrot top walnut pesto.


Serves 6.

This post is sponsored by Diamond of California Nuts. – all opinions expressed are my own. 


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