Lets pretend - lets pretend our family dinners are Donna Hay perfection. Let's pretend our family meals arent at the mercy of whatever Im testing that week. Lets pretend my family are not my culinary guinea pigs and I'm not asking them for feedback every 2.5 milliseconds.
But, seeing as I dont have kids and Im not married, our family meal is more of a "Modern Family" take -- less Stepford perfection and more screaming nephews running in circles, if you will. Its a meal where everyone pitches in and though it always seems to come together last minute its never as haphazard as it might seem.
Though its not very perfect or planned, family meal is a bit of a religion in our house -- so, rain or shine, a few times a month, my siblings and I get together with our parents for a proper meal. Sure, it doesn't sound like rocket science but its a lot of scheduling that could, in some circles, might warrant its own postgraduate degree.
So when I tell you I've found a keeper for Family Meal -- a recipe that's universally pleasing, pretty easy to make, and still exciting for the adults -- well, I mean it's seriously a keeper. One such creation that went over particularly well was this Baked Chicken with Pistachio-Jalapeño Pesto -- its easier to pull together than it is to arrange our schedules and has a lot of fans in our parts.
plus 2 tablespoons, divided, plus more for garnish
(about 10 to 12 cloves) smashed and skins discarded
juiced and divided (about 6 teaspoons)
finely chopped (about 1 cup)
about 3 pounds
seeds discarded roughly chopped
trimmed and thinly sliced
plus more for garnish
For the chicken: Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine 1/4 cup of the olive oil, a pinch of salt, a few cranks of pepper, all but 1 clove of the garlic, 4 teaspoons of the lime juice, onion, wine, and broth in a blender or food processor and process until very smooth.
Place chicken in a large (about 13-by-9-inch) ovenproof baking dish, season with a few pinch of salt then pour the garlic mixture on top and cover with aluminum foil.
Place dish into oven and bake for 15 minutes. Pull back the foil and baste the chicken by spooning the garlic mixture over the chicken. Cover the dish with the foil and return to oven and continue to cook, basting the chicken every 15 minutes. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife, about 35 to 45 minutes total. Meanwhile, make the pesto.
For the pesto: Combine the remaining olive oil (about 1/3 cup), pistachios, jalapeno, remaining clove of garlic, remaining 2 teaspoons of lime juice, and a pinch of salt in a small food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.
Add a pinch of pepper, the mint, and half of the scallions process until well combined but finely ground and not totally smooth. Add a splash of water and the cheese and pulse to just incorporate (you want the pesto to remain pretty loose and to have a finely ground texture it will not be totally smooth).
Taste and add more salt or pepper as desired. (Pesto can be made up to 4 days ahead of time. Store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.) Serve the chicken topped with a large dollop of pesto, a pinch of the remaining scallions, and drizzle with a little olive oil.
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