Grace and I awoke this morning to discover the quintessential Brisbane winters day. We jumped out of bed and were greeted with a sun drenched bright blue and gorgeously clear sky. So to celebrate the stunning day and take full advantage of the rays of sunshine Grace and I decided to head off to the park for a picnic.
After a little tinkering in the kitchen I put together this simple yet delicious pasta salad soaked in fragrant basil pesto and mixed together with a lovely helping of fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumber, rocket, bocconcini and shaved pecorino. To go alongside the salad I decided to roast chicken drumsticks with a little lemon zest, thyme, olive oil and honey. ***Note honey is NOT suitable for bubs under one year, however that doesn’t mean you have to miss out! Just like I did simply leave a couple of drumsticks honey free and glaze the rest, I promise the rest of the family will LOVE LOVE LOVE the wonderfully golden, caramelised honey glazed chicken!
To make your own picnic feast simply…
Start by preheating an oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place chicken drumsticks on an oven tray lined with baking paper, zest over a lemon, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and adorn with a few sprigs of wonderfully fragrant fresh thyme. Pop in the oven to roast for 30 minutes. With five minutes of cooking time remaining drizzle the chicken with a tablespoon of honey and pop back in the oven to finish cooking. The drumsticks are done when they are cooked, golden and gorgeously caramelised. ***REMEMBER to leave the honey off any drumsticks being served to a baby under 1 year***
Meanwhile, bring a big pot of salted water to the boil and cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain and run under a little cool water. Set aside.
Next, halve a punnet of cherry tomatoes and thinly slice a cucumber into half coins.
In a large bowl place the cooked pasta and pesto and mix to combine.
To the large bowl of pesto pasta add all of your salad ingredients; cherry tomatoes, cucumber, rocket, shaved pecorino and bocconcini and toss to combine.
Serve the pesto pasta salad alongside a golden roasted lovely leg of lemon, thyme & honey chicken. YUM! Or pack it all up along with a cosy blanket and head out for a picnic!
Lemon, thyme and honey chicken
6 chicken drumsticks
zest of 1 lemon
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon honey ***Not suitable for bubs under 1 year, leave drumsticks honey free
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place the chicken on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Zest a lemon over the chicken, adorn with thyme sprigs, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, drizzle with honey and cook for another 5 minutes or until cooked, golden and caramelised. Serve with pesto pasta salad.
Pesto pasta salad
500 grams short pasta (such as fusilli, penne or rigatoni)
3-4 heaped tablespoons of basil pesto
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 cups rocket
1/3 cup pecorino/parmesan, shaved
4 bocconcini balls, roughly torned
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. In a large bowl place the cooked pasta and pesto and mix to combine. Add the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, rocket, pecorino and bocconcini balls and toss to combine. Serve with golden roasted lemon, thyme and honey chicken.
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