Chicken in a spinach and basil sauce

Roasted chicken shreds in a spinach and basil sauce

This recipe is rather special ,as it’s a slightly altered version of a delicious dish made by my dear friend and food soul mate Kavita . She has this recipe on her blog,I have added the link,just click on the name,  it’s called Pesto Chicken 

I ,unlike her ,am not a follower of blogs ….I am more of a thumb through the pages of a cookbook kind of person. She helped me find my way in the dark ,many times,in the blog part of the world. Her cooking styles ,incorporate a mix of modern with traditional coorg and South Indian flavours. We keep in touch at least once a day , her blog is mentioned on the bottom of my home page and it’s called ‘my happy table‘ ! Do check out her recipe as well ,mine has slight variations only out of necessity ! :)

Roast chicken with garlic

Roast chicken with garlic

My family loves the flavours of roast chicken. I usually like to roast it on the bone ,as I feel that adds to the flavour. Having bought chicken  ,I decided,on a whim, to check out kavi’s blog and there it was the perfect recipe ,easy and quick. Since I make my own pesto ,I decided to just go ahead and use the fresh basil leaves from my garden and also because I did not have a jar of pesto in my pantry !!!   She used yoghurt in her sauce ,which gives it a wonderful creamy texture. As my younger one had a bit of a bad throat ,I skipped on adding the yoghurt. I also wanted the sauce a tad warm and that’s the reason ,I brought it up to a quick boil ! Do not leave it even a second after that ,as you will loose the texture and colour of the sauce ,along with the freshness. The vivid green is so intensely appetising !

Spinach and basil puree'

Spinach and basil puree’

The flavours are wonderful with the simply roasted chicken meat. I served it with a mild pasta that echoed with the flavours of garlic ,tomato and fresh basil to complement the basil in the sauce. The whole thing also has loads of freshly cracked pepper to add warmth and a slightly different to chilli ,heat.

Roast chicken ,shredded.

Roast chicken ,shredded.

Shredding the chicken ,is also one of those very satisfying tasks. The aroma of the hot roasted flavours waft up and gets the salivary glands working,as you contentedly pull apart ,the meat from the bone….yummy yum yum !

The chicken with a mild pasta.

The chicken with a mild pasta.

To roast a chicken without garlic is an almost impossible task for me . One of my most lip smacking moments ,is to pop that golden garlic into the mouth and feel it go mush with it’s sweet and mellow pungency ! I have proudly passed that ‘appreciating the roasted garlic gene’ to my kids !!! 😉 Lucky them …haha!

Roasted garlic

Golden Roasted garlic

Golden , oozy buttery and so delicious. There were complaints galore that there wasn’t enough of it, to satiate the ‘roasted garlic’ appetite !!! Sssh…after all the cook needs to hide some ,for herself ,doesn’t she !!?! 😀

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  • 1. Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees C
  • 2. In a roasting pan , place the cleaned chicken drumsticks and scatter about 5-6 whole garlic cloves
  • 3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  • 4. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of olive oil over the top and mix to coat the chicken evenly.
  • 5. Place in the hot oven and let roast until the chicken meat turns white and is well cooked ,with the meat falling off the bone.
  • 6. Wash the spinach and basil leaves thoroughly
  • 7. Place in a blender with 2 cloves garlic,pistachio nuts and the remaining olive oil. (Ignore the nuts and olive oil ,if using pesto)
  • 8. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend to a smooth paste consistency.
  • 9. Cover and set the puree' aside.
  • 10. Once the chicken is cooked,cool slightly and pull apart with fingers or using a fork and knife.
  • 11. Place the shredded chicken in a bowl and reserve the roasted garlic for later.
  • 12. Now ,pour the spinach and basil puree' in a medium pan and quickly bring to a boil and turn off the heat.
  • 13. Pour it over the chicken and mix well. check seasoning.
  • 14. Just before serving ,squeeze the juice of a lemon and cut the other lemon into wedges to place on the table,if anyone would like more.

About Chef

Shanthini Rajkumar

Hello ☺ ! Welcome to Pink lemon tree. A suggestion that has turned into an immensely satisfying connect with foodies from near and far. Best described as a foodie mom ...