Monday, January 14, 2013

Basil Pesto Chicken

After taking December off, I am happy to share this month's Secret Recipe Club post with you.  For those of you who don't know Secret Recipe Club works like this, you're assigned a blog, you choose a recipe and keep it a secret till reveal day.

For the month of January, I was assigned The Bitchin' Kitchin'.  My favorite part of SRC is browsing the blogs and trying to decide what recipe to choose.  It's never an easy decision but I have vowed to try to always make a savory recipe since I never have ANY trouble finding new sweet recipes.  We love all things basil at our house.  During the summer, it is plentiful!  We harvest springs for caprese salad, make mojitos or use in recipes.  As the weather cools and we say goodbye to our basil plants, I often pick up a jar of Kirkland's pesto at Costco.  It's every bit as good as homemade and easy to use in recipes.

When I saw Ellie's recipe for Basil Pesto Chicken, I decided it would be a wonderful reminder of summer, despite the snow covered ground.  This is a tasty chicken dish!  Easy to prepare and healthy for you too!


Basil Pesto Chicken
Recipe Courtesy of The Bitchin Kitchin slightly adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen
makes ~4 servings
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~1 lb chicken)
  • Salt, fresh ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper for seasoning chicken
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1/2 - 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Trim the chicken so any visible fat and tendons are removed.  Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on how thick or thin you would like them.
3) Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper as desired.  Don't use too much salt, as cheese will be added later on to the chicken.
4) Spray a 9" x 12" (or 8.5" X 12.5") baking dish with non-stick spray, then spread 1/4 cup basil pesto over the bottom of the dish.
5) Lay the chicken strips over the pesto, then spread the remaining 1/4 cup basil pesto over the chicken.
6) Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes, or just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. (Don't cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.)
7) When the chicken is barely cooked through, remove the foil and sprinkle the chicken with the grated mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until the cheese is melted.  Serve hot.
I am linking this to Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday!

17 comments:

  1. Hi Julie,
    This Basil Pesto Chicken looks delicious. Great recipe for the SRC and thanks for sharing.
    Miz Helen

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  2. Yum! You cant go wrong with pesto.

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  3. I love the combination of pesto and mozzarella! This is going on my meals for next week! Great cooking with you in SRC!

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  4. Yum. Basil always reminds me of summer too! I have jars of frozen pesto in my freezer, just waiting to bring me back to summer!

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  5. Oh, yum - that looks fresh and delicious. And I am with you - I always gravitate towards the sweet ones, too :) Really great choice!

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  6. I love recipes that are so simple, quick, and tasty. Hopefully I'll get a good crop of basil this summer and can make up a big batch of pesto to use throughout the year. Thanks for the great recipe!

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  7. Looks very good. I don't have enough pesto in my life--this could be a recipe to change that. :)

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  8. What a delicious and easy chicken recipe!

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  9. Julie, what a great chicken recipe, you chose. I just might find time to make this.

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  10. What a great recipe! Pesto somehow makes everything taste better!

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  11. This looks super easy and I have a ton of basil in the freezer from last summer. Thanks for sharing.

    Denise

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  12. I'm trying to post more savory recipes too. This basil chicken looks amazing!

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  13. Julie, what a great recipe that you chose. It sounds easy and flavorful. I need to make this one. I love Costco, too.

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  14. Hi Julie,
    This is a great dish, that we would just love! Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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Thanks for commenting on my blog!