It’s already March and I still haven’t put up a pesto recipe! That’s Pesto Blasphemy in my books. You all know my heart skips a beat when I talk about Pesto. Every time I see good basil leaves in the market, I’m rushing home to make pesto. Because of my obsession with it, my friend even ribs me and asks me when I’m making pesto ice cream?! The flak I receive for my addiction, has led me restrain myself from spamming the blog with all things Pesto! BUT this recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen is so easy and so brilliant and tastes so Ah-maze-ing that I had to share.
This recipe requires no prepping or marinating and it’s ready in under 40 minutes. It’s also way healthier than a sauté/ pan fried option. The olive oil in the pesto is all you need to moisten and bake this baby. I must have made this innumerable times just because it looks so impressive when you plate up. I’ve bookmarked this one, to churn out something fabulous when guests arrive unannounced. Yes, we all want to be Domestic Goddesses with a sexy British twang ‘a la Nigella’ at the end of the day!
Baked Pesto Chicken
(Recipe adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)
Prep time: 5 mins
Baking time: 30 + 5 mins
What you need:
4 Chicken breasts, (skinless, boneless and flattened)
4 Tbsp Pesto (I use the home made version)
½ cup Grated Mozzarella
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper for seasoning
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Grilled Vegetables (Mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, Onions)
What to do:
Preheat you oven to 190°C. Clean the chicken breast and trim all the fat away. (Seriously, there is enough fat in the pesto – we don’t need anymore).
Step 1: Flatten the breast (I use a rolling pin) and cut it into 2 strips. This ensures that we get more pesto coated sides! Now spray a 9×9 Baking dish with some non-stick spray.
Step 2: Massage the pesto into the chicken breast strips and ensure it is fully covered. Now lay them flat onto the baking dish.
Step 3: IMPORTANT – Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. This ensure that’s the chicken gets cooked fast and is still nice and moist.
Step 4: Toss into the oven and bake for 25 mins. (I’ve checked the time and it works perfectly – Do NOT overcook).
Step 5: Take out the dish from the oven and remove the foil. Cover with the grated mozzarella.
Step 6: Now put it back into the oven WITHOUT the foil and broil under a grill for 3-4 mins till the cheese has melted and browned slightly. (There will be some pan juices which you will use to dress up your plate later).
Step 7: Serve hot.
I like to serve this with some creamy mashed potatoes and Grilled vegetables. Voila!
For the Creamy Mashed Potatoes recipe click here.
For the Grilled Veggies – cut up the veggies into similar sized pieces. Coat with some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and grill in the oven for 25 mins. Turning over/ shuffling them once inbetween.
To plate – Spread some mashed potatoes onto the center on the plate. Place the baked pesto chicken breasts on top. Surround the chicken with grilled vegetables. Spoon over some pan juices on top of the chicken and around the vegetables.