Recipe: Lemon-Pesto Roasted Chicken with Broccoli and Olives

Lately, I’ve been trying to eat my meat on the bone as often as possible. Chicken makes this really easy in a world where everyone else at the grocery store wants nothing but boneless. The idea is that if our bodies don’t have the building blocks to repair ligaments, cartilage, tendons, veins and such, our own will begin to deteriorate. So gnaw that chicken bone like you mean it! And I find that roasting the leg pieces is much easier and a little quicker than dealing with a whole chicken. Besides, what are we missing here? The wings that no one eats and the icky, boring breasts that I never enjoyed. Unless you need the whole carcass for broth, drumsticks and thighs make for an easy and delicious dinner.

This would be a Quick and Dirty! entry if it weren’t for the time it takes to roast. Because other than that, this is almost embarrassingly easy. For very little prep, you get awesome flavor and a meal that’s Sunday supper worthy.

Lemon-Pesto Roasted Chicken with Broccoli and Olives


4 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 cup prepared or fresh pesto

1 lemon, zested and juiced


2 bunches broccoli, stems trimmed and crowns cut into florets

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c. plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

red pepper flakes, to taste

1/2 c. kalamata olives, pitted

1) Preheat oven to 450ºF. Sprinkle chicken pieces with S&P on both sides and place in a large bowl. Pour pesto over and add lemon juice and zest. Stir chicken around with your hands to coat. Place chicken in an ovenproof pan and put in oven. Set timer for 45 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, in small prep bowl, combine garlic, 1 Tbsp. S&P, and red pepper flakes. Toss broccoli with 1/4 c. olive oil and S&P. Put broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet. When timer reaches 20 minutes remaining for chicken, put broccoli in oven. Roast for 10 minutes, then remove and toss broccoli with garlic mixture. Sprinkle olives on top and put back in oven until the timer goes off.

3) Serve 1 drumstick and 1 thigh on each plate with some broccoli.

Serves 4.

NOTES: My broccoli was a local, very young broccoli, so I only roasted it for 15 minutes. It was just long enough to get some delicious crispy edges. If using broccolini, you may want to similarly reduce the roasting time.


2 Responses to “Recipe: Lemon-Pesto Roasted Chicken with Broccoli and Olives”

  1. My husband owns a Cross Fit Gym and we’ve been eating Paleo for the last two months. I made this recipe last night and we loved it! It’s definitely a keeper! Thanks for the great recipes.

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