Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baked Pesto Chicken

After Mackenzie's delish Pesto Lasagna on Saturday night, I decided to use my leftover spinach and basil to make a homemade pesto to use throughout this week's meals.  Last night, I was craving chicken and thought about how I could put the two together to please my tummy. I sliced up some fresh chicken breasts and tossed in my pesto... yum! You could even make an entire platter or casserole with this, but I am just cooking for one and it worked out great!

Homemade Pesto
      The thing with pesto is that once you've made it, you can play around with ingredients and adjust according to consistency, smell and taste. I "eyeballed" everything for this pesto because I just wanted to use ingredients I had in my refrigerator.

Homemade Spinach Walnut Pesto:
1/2 bunch of Spinach
A few cups of fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup of Walnuts
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In the food processor, puree spinach, basil and walnuts together with some EVOO. Squeeze in juice from lemon. While the processor is going, slowly continue pouring the olive oil until you reach a smooth consistency. 

Baked Pesto Chicken
1 chicken breast, sliced into 1 inch pieces
(Homemade) Pesto
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, then change oven to broil for a little crunch and browning of the cheese!

 Spread a thin layer of pesto on the bottom of baking dish
Then lay chicken pieces in dish, spread a little more pesto on chicken 
and then sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
Wow, yummy!

I was thinking I might just put the pesto on top of the chicken to cut out more oil.  But this turned out with the flavor and moisture captured in the chicken and the extra pesto just seemed to crust in the dish instead of swimming under the chicken. Pretty great results!

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