Panko Pesto Chicken
Three things I love: Pesto, Chicken and Panko breadcrumbs
So I thought to myself, why not combine three of my favorite things into on miraculous, delicious, adventurous meal? That is exactly what I did. What I like about this chicken is that it’s easy enough that as long as you follow the recipe you can’t mess it up that much. It also looks fancier than it really is and you can tell your guests its “healthy” because it’s baked not fried.
Side Note: The night I made this I also established a new rule of never asking if something is healthy in my apartment ever again. It’s annoying and honestly no one I know needs to really worry about it. Home cooked meals are healthier than most take out or dine out options, plus my food is made with love!
For the PESTO:
- Two boxes of trader joes basil ( farmers market ran out L)
- ¼ cup to ½ cup Olive Oil
- 5 Cloves of Garlic Chopped
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup to ½ cup parmesan cheese
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine the entire list of ingredients into a blender or food processor. Save the parmesan cheese for last. TASTE AS YOU GO!!
What I love about pesto is that you can shift it whichever way you like. If you like it thinner add more oil. If you like it nuttier or cheesier, add more of those ingredients. It’s fun to play around with pesto and add new things like red pepper flakes.
- 2.5 lbs of boneless chicken breasts
- 2 Cups Panko
- 1 Cup flour
- 2 tbsp. Thyme
- 2 tbsp. Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3-4 eggs
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
*With the chicken I had I slit it in half due to the thickness*
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees
Pound out the chicken breasts using a mallet if you have one, but if you don’t you can use the back of a sauté pan. Cover the chicken either with a plastic bag or with plastic wrap and pound away until thin but not too thin that it will fall apart.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a square dish (large enough for chicken to fit to bread them). Mix well. Once combined, beat the eggs in a separate dish. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture and then into the panko/flour mix. You might have to press the breadcrumbs into the chicken to make sure there is a thick enough coating. Another option is to dip it in the egg again and then the breadcrumbs.
Set aside while you complete the rest of the chicken.
On a cutting board or a plate take each breaded chicken piece and place a large dollop of pesto onto the chicken. Sprinkle with a little mozzarella cheese and roll the chicken. Once rolled insert a toothpick into the seam of the chicken so it doesn’t come open on the baking pan. Repeat until all the chicken is complete.
Place on an ungreased large cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.
This is best served straight from the oven – try not to reheat!
I served this with a shaved asparagus salad – Recipe to come – and sautéed broccoli as well as a Red Wine Roma Pasta – Recipe to come.