Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pesto Stuffed Chicken

Mmm.  It normally takes me a while to post recipes once I've made them (because I like to make them again and change ingredients and take lots of pictures), but the dinner I just had was too good not to share immediately.

I discovered this recipe for pesto on a beautiful blog called What Katie Ate a few years back.  Katie made this goat cheese pesto in a tomato tart which I tried and liked.  But it was the pesto that stuck with me.  My roommate and I could devour a cup of the stuff in an absurd amount of time and I made it many times when I was living in San Francisco.

I sort of forgot about the pesto, but I recently made a recipe that involved stuffing a chicken breast with apricots, and it seemed like using the pesto would be awesome.  So that's what I tried tonight: a chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.  Delicious!

Fresh from the garden. And yes, I'm actually managing to keep basil alive these days!

Pesto Stuffed Chicken
by Lindsey
Makes 1-2 servings

1 chicken breast
2 tbsp pesto (recipe below)
1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)

Pesto: (adapted from What Katie Ate)
Makes 12 tbsp servings

2 handfuls of basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup grape seed oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
100 g goat cheese (I used a 113 g goat cheese log)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the pesto, toast the pine nuts for a few minutes until they start to brown and smell yummy.

Add all of the pesto ingredients to a food processor (or blender).  Blend until well-mixed.  It's not the prettiest pesto, (kind of a bleh color), but it tastes wonderful.

Heat your over to 350 degrees.  Pound the chicken to make it as flat as possible- this will help it cook evenly and quickly.  At the fattest portion of the breast, start cutting a pocket, without cutting through to the other side.

Mix the pesto with half the sun-dried tomatoes and stuff into the chicken.  This is a cool trick I learned: use a couple of toothpicks to "sew" up the pocket in the chicken.  It's amazing how well this works.

Although this pictures makes the chicken look nasty, check out the toothpick "sewing".

Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet that can be transferred to the oven.  Cook the chicken breast for 4-5 minutes on each side until it's nice and golden.  It won't be cooked all the way through yet, but no worries!

Transfer to the oven and cook 20 minutes.  I found that the extra oil burned, so I probably will try to drain any extra oil before I transfer it to the oven next time.

Remove from oven and top with the remaining sun-dried tomatoes.  Enjoy with some brown rice and a side salad.