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Monday, August 20, 2007

Chicken Breasts W/ Pistachio-Cilantro Pesto



I have had this recipe for a while in my large stack of recipes to try some day and do not remember which magazine it came from. I decided to prepare it for dinner Thursday and was pleased with the results. The chicken was good and juicy, not dry at all. It's fairly simple to make and is a bit different than typical chicken recipes. My pesto turned out to be a bit thick, but the flavor was excellent.
Chicken Breasts With Pistachio-Cilantro Pesto
1 cup unsalted raw pistachios
2 cups (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice, divided
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp. ground cardamom
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup + 5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 large chicken breast halves with skin and ribs attached
Preheat oven to 400. Toast pistachios on baking sheet until golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer to processor. Maintain oven temperature. Add cilantro leaves, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and next 3 ingredients to processor. Using on/off turns, process until coarse paste forms. With machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil. Season with pepper.
Using fingers, gently loosen skin from 1 side of each breast forming a pocket. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto evenly under skin of each breast. Sprinkle chicken generously with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down. Cook until skin is dark golden, about 5 minutes. Gently turn chicken and transfer skillet to oven. Roast chicken until cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Place 1/2 cup remaining pesto into small bowl. Whisk in remaining 1/4 olive oil and remaining 1 tsp. lemon juice. Drizzle pesto over chicken and serve.
The Reason My Pesto Was Thick:
I did not read the instructions properly and used all the remaining pesto I had as opposed to a 1/2 a cup of the remaining pesto. I just realized as I typed this recipe out, what my mistake was.

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