Though not necessary, this chicken dish can be prepared for baking up to one day ahead. This allows the pesto to marinate the chicken for more intense flavor.


Yield: serves 8



  • 8 chicken breasts or 16 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • Sage Pesto




1. Using fingertips, loosen skin of chicken pieces; do not remove it completely.

2. Spread about 1-2 tsp. of pesto under skin of each piece. Pull skin over pesto. Pesto is very intense; you don’t need a lot for flavor.

3. Place the chicken pieces in an ungreased baking dish or cookie sheet. Bake at 400° F (200° C); 25-30 minutes for thighs, 30 – 40 minutes for breasts. The internal temperature should be 170° F.


Sage Pesto:

  • 1 C. fresh sage leaves (pack lightly in measuring cup — or 3-4 handfuls)
  • 3/4 C. fresh parsley
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1/4 C. (50 g) pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/2 C. (20 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  •  1/2 C. (125 ml) olive oil




Place sage, parsley, garlic, nuts, and cheese in food processor. While processing, pour the olive oil through the feed tube. Process until the consistency of creamed butter. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for later use.


If you enjoyed this recipe you might want to purchase the PDF version of Debbie’s cookbook Around Our Table, a great way to keep your recipes handy no matter where you are in the world.  For more information, go to


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