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Pesto Sheetpan Chicken with 2015 Trefethen Merlot #MerlotMe #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Trefethen, one of the #MerlotMe event sponsors.
Complimentary wine was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

It's still October! And I am still making my way through the bottles of Merlot sent to me by the #MerlotMe sponsors. You can read the post I did for the #WinePW #MerlotMe event a couple of weekends ago: So Many Merlots, So Many Pairings.


This Merlot comes from the Trefethen Family Vineyards* in the Oak Knoll district of Napa Valley and is a blend of 95% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec. I loved that this wine was silky yet vibrant, fruity yet earthy. 


The first sniff - and taste - had me thinking about roasting mushrooms, but one of my trio doesn't care for mushrooms. I know, I know: whose kid is that!? Certainly not this fungi-lovin' gal! But, oh, well, the earthiness in the wine led me to pesto next. What a great match! I whipped up a baby kale pesto, smeared it on some boneless chicken thighs and potatoes, and stuck it all in the oven for an easy week night dinner. I served this with roasted carrots and a kale salad. Easy peasy.

Ingredients serves 6 to 8

Baby Kale Pesto (makes more than you need, but depends on your preference)
  • 4 C baby kale greens, rinsed and dried
  • 1 C fresh herbs (I used basil and parsley)
  • 1 T crushed garlic
  • 1/2 C ground almonds
  • 1/2 C shredded parmesan
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • freshly ground salt

Sheetpan Chicken
  • 6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 C cubed potatoes (I used Yukon gold)
  • 2 to 3 T olive oil, if needed
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste


Procedure
Baby Kale Pesto
Place all of the ingredients into the blender. Pulse a few times, drizzle in olive oil, and resume pulsing.  Pulse. Oil. Pulse. Oil.

If you want a smoother, sauce-like pesto, add more olive oil and blend longer; if you want a chunkier pesto, use less oil and blend for less time.  So simple. So fresh. So fragrant. Set aside until you're ready to make the chicken.

Sheetpan Chicken
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheetpan with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.

Place the cubed potatoes and chicken in a large mixing bowl. Spoon 1 C pesto over the top and use your hands to coat the chicken and potatoes completely with pesto. Add more pesto, if you wish.

Turn the chicken and potatoes onto the prepared sheetpan and arrange so that they are in a single layer, that is nothing on top or underneath any thing else. Place in the oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through.

Turn up the oven to broil for 3 minutes to crisp the top of the chicken and potatoes, if desired. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot.


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*Disclosure: I received compensation in the form of wine samples for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

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