1 (4 1/2- to 5-pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded
1 cup basil pesto (Ozark Mountain or Garlic Scapes pesto from this recipe): https://fairshares.org/recipes/garlic-scapes-pesto
Salt and pepper
1. Use your fingers to gently loosen skin covering breast and thighs of chicken; place 1/4 cup pesto under skin, directly on the meat of breast and thighs. Gently press on skin to distribute pesto over meat. Spread the entire exterior surface of chicken with an additional 1/4 cup pesto and place, breast side down, in a 5 to 7 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours, until the breast meat registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and the thighs register 175 degrees.
2. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes. Strain cooking liquid into a fat separator and let sit for 5 minutes; reserve 1/2 cup defatted liquid. Combine reserved liquid and remaining 1/2 cup pesto in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Carve chicken, discarding skin if desired, and serve with sauce.
Joanne’s notes: “This is a great recipe, because you can set it up after lunch and go about the rest of your day. Grilled Fair Shares veggies and/or a wheatberry pilaf are nice accompaniments to the chicken.”