(Preparation time, about 1 hour – Serves from 2 to 4, depending on chicken size)
1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the chicken, heat the olive oil on medium high until shimmering, about 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Rinse and pat dry the chicken.
4. Sprinkle both sides of each chicken half liberally with salt & pepper.
5. Gently place chicken halves skin side down in the pan, and brown for 8 to 9 minutes. Periodically place a weight on the chicken pieces pressing down to insure that the skin gets crispy.
6. Turn chicken pieces skin side up and remove pan to top rack of oven. Roast for 30 minutes, basting skin with fat drippings after 15 minutes.
7. In the meantime mix the pesto with 2 tbsp. of the white wine.
8. When chicken is done, remove the pan from the oven, re-baste the chicken and spoon pesto over each half. Return to oven and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
9. When done, remove chicken from the pan, set aside and keep warm while preparing the gravy.
10. To make the gravy, pour off all but 2 tbsp. of fat, retaining the solids, heat pan on stove on high, add the ½ cup of wine, bring to boil and de-glaze the pan scraping up the fond. Serve gravy alongside the chicken.
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