Walnut Pesto Broiled Cornish Hens

Total Time:
40 min
10 min
30 min
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Cornish hens, halved (or 4 whole chicken legs)
  • Lemons, for serving
  • Potatoes, for serving

1. Set the oven rack on the lowest level and preheat the broiler to high. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil and brush with oil.

2. Combine the parsley, walnuts, pecorino, 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor. Add 1 tablespoon water and process until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. (Makes about 1 cup.)

3. Pat the chicken dry and carefully loosen the skin to form a pocket under the skin. Lift the skin, and use a spoon or fingers to stuff about 1/4 cup pesto deep into the pockets of each of the halves, cover as much of the meat as possible without breaking the skin. Season each side of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin-side down on the pan and broil until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Carefully turn to keep the skin intact and cook the other side until crispy and dark brown, about 10 minutes. Garnish with lemon and serve with potatoes.

Total Fat: 51 grams

Saturated Fat: 12 grams

Total Carbohydrates: 3 grams

Protein: 37 grams

Sodium: 724 milligrams

Cholesterol: 185 milligrams

Fiber: 1 gram

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