Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pan Fried Chicken Breast Stuffed With Parsley-Walnut Pesto

If I were a Stepford wife, this would be the dish I make for my family in the evening. Even if you don't have a family to feed--I obviously don't have anyone to feed except my sweet tooth and always hungry stomach. You can just cook one chicken breast and half the ingredients for the pesto. I find the pesto a delicious compliment to turkey slices in sandwiches or with a little mayo between bagel.

I am usually not a big fan of chicken breast because they're so tough in chicken soups or as fried chicken. My friend, this is different. This pan fried chicken breast is tender and juicy with a crunchy skin on the top. You don't need to cook this meat till it's leather sole--just enough to get the meat cooked through. Even if you overcook the meat, let the parsley-walnut pesto rejuvenate the chicken breast. In between slices I stuffed a spoonful of parsley-walnut pesto.

You don't need a lot of preparation before hand, although preparing the pesto ahead of time and rubbing the chicken breast with salt and pepper makes dinner preparation much much easier.

Chicken dinner for two

For the pesto
1 medium bunch of parsley
1/2 cup walnuts
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

For the chicken
2 chicken breasts with skin
vegetable oil
salt & pepper

Rub some coarse sea salt and pepper on the chicken and set aside.

In a food processor, blend parsley and walnuts together till you get a coarse meal. While the motor is on slow speed, slowly drizzle olive oil till the food processor begin churning everything into a thick paste. Season with salt & pepper.

Heat oven to 200F. Place a large frying pan on medium-high heat, drizzle a spoonful of oil into the hot pan. When the oil is hot, place one chicken breast skin down. Let chicken cook for 5 minutes or lift one side of the chicken up to check if you get a crispy skin. Turn chicken around and cook the other side for 10 minutes. Place the cooked chicken breast on a baking sheet and let it stay warm in the preheated oven. Cook the second chicken breast following the same steps.

When the second chicken is done, turn the fire off and let the chicken stay in the pot while you take the first breast out. Carefully slice the first breast into diagonal slices, quarter inch thick. Last, stuff some pesto between slices before serving.

I had one chicken breast to myself for lunch, and it was a tad much. I would recommend serving one chicken breast for two if you and your partner in crime aren't big eaters (or if you are saving room for dessert). Definitely make a large batch of pesto because you will love love love the flavor combination of parsley and walnut. For a stronger walnut flavor, substitute olive oil with walnut oil.

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