Stuffed Chicken with Pesto
My husband has suddenly decided that since he can smell summer, he wants to get back to the studly physique he had the day we met (not that he isn’t studly now). Which means healthy eating only. And that means, packed lunches. Which means for me, more time in the kitchen, more time planning and more time shopping for food. Sigh…
As much as I enjoy being in the kitchen AND enjoy making my husband healthy (not to mention making my husband uber hot – big tick!), I don’t want to waste my entire life hidden behind an apron in the kitchen.
For every meal I cook, I times it by 4 so that we both eat dinner that night and have the same meal for lunch the next day. I have to keep things simple enough that I am not in the kitchen too long preparing and cooking, and they need to travel well in a lunchbox. But most importantly, they need to be hearty enough to satisfy a hard working, hungry caveman. Ugh, ugh, ugh (that was my impersonation of Tim Allen’s grunt).
Tonights (and tomorrows) meal meets all of those prerequisites – Stuffed Chicken with Pesto.
There is something about pesto that wins me over every time. It has me at hello.
For this recipe, I made a big batch of pesto so I could have enough leftover to satisfy my pesto addiction. Picture me crouching in the corner of my kitchen with a carrot stick greedily polishing it off, with green all over my cheeky face. Now you know my inner most secret. And I will have to kill you. Hmm…maybe not. But if you want to be on my good side, when you come over and visit don’t bring flowers, bring a handful of basil!!
In terms of preparation, this recipe requires a bit of bashing the meat, which seems to keep the chicken really moist and helps it to cook quicker. It also helps me to relieve any hidden stresses that I may have acquired that day. Two birds with one stone (excuse the pun)! And whilst the pesto is added time in the kitchen, once you have it prepared, you can add it to other dishes to make it pop, or you can simply serve it as a dip. Or follow my lead, and just eat it with a spoon. SO NAUGHTY!!!
Best of all, the meal stores really well in the fridge overnight and can be easily reheated or eaten cold, straight from the fridge.
- 1 large bunch of fresh Basil
- 60g Pinenuts
- 3 TB EVOO
- 45g Parmesan, whole, organic (not pre-shredded as they often add coagulants)
- Salt to taste
- 1 Garlic clove, raw
- 4 Chicken Breasts, free range (of course!)
- 1 Egg, free range, beaten
- 1/2 C Almond Meal
- 1/4-1/2 C Parmesan, shredded (or any cheese)
- 1. Prepare the pesto by adding all of the ingredients into the processor
- 2. Process the pesto to a fine paste and put aside and at this step, preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- 3. For the chicken breast, butterfly them and on a wooden chopping board, pound the living daylights out them with a mallet. You want them thin, but not with holes in the meat.
- 4. Spread a layer of pesto over the open breasts
- 5. Roll the chicken up and place onto a baking tray where you can let it rest on its side (it should stay sealed, but you can use toothpicks if not)
- 6. You could simply fry up at this stage to make the recipe even quicker, or you can continue adding a crumb topping...
- 7. In a small bowl, add your egg and slightly beat to mix
- 8. In another bowl, add your almond meal and cheese and mix
- 9. Using a small coating brush (or your fingers!), paint the chicken breast in egg and then place heaped tablespoons of almond meal mixture to the top and press into the breast slightly to stick
- 10. Bake the tray for approximately 25 to 35 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken. THey should brown nicely, but if not, place them under a hot grill for a minute.
- 11. Serve with a side of veggies and dollop of pesto.
- If you want to try something different, perhaps add feta to the pesto layer or sun-dried tomato, or even bacon! The choice is yours...