|Pesto Glazed Chicken with Herbed Capellini|
Recognize this dish? Again, I struggled with the idea of publishing this dish here because it's not that challenging and I wanted to keep you all guessing the dish behind the title above but this is too good not to share.
Recreate restaurant style elegance on a weeknight at home.
This Curtis Stone recipe has been adapted from Huffington Post.
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, cut into a coarse chiffonade
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (or more) plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
9 ounces dried capellini (angel hair) or other long pasta
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved for garnish
2 tablespoons torn basil leaves, for garnish
1. For the pesto, combine the garlic cloves, basil, walnuts, Parmesan in a blender. With the blender running, slowly drizzle olive oil into the blender until the mixture is a loose paste. Season the pesto to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F and fire the salted water over high heat to a boil.
3. Heat tablespoon of oil in a large oven-proof sauté pan over high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken breasts just until golden brown but not yet cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat. Spread the pesto over the top of the chicken breasts.
|After two minutes on the first side|
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the chicken is just cooked through, about 8 minutes. (If you don't have an oven-proof pan, transfer to a baking dish before placing in the oven.)
|After 8 minutes in the oven|
4. While the chicken cooks in the oven, drop the pasta in the boiling salted water until al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking (about a minute less than the box instructions dictate). Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Whisk 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the reserved pasta cooking water to blend well. Add the spaghetti and parsley and toss to coat.
5. To plate, use a two-pronged carving fork swirl some of the pasta around the fork and slide the pasta off the fork and mound it in the center of a plate. Repeat for each serving. Cut each chicken breast crosswise and on a bias into 4 slices. Fan the chicken slices alongside the pasta. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese, and torn basil. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over and serve.
I normally don't take pictures of my prep work, but in this case I wanted to highlight the importance of toasting the nuts used in the pesto. It gives pesto another dimension of flavor. Put the nuts in a dry sauté pan over medium heat, tossing every minute until lightly browned.
Absolutely! With the pesto prepped beforehand, I was able to complete steps 2 through 5 in under an hour, which makes this dish perfect for weeknight entertaining.
By the way, the un-cropped picture above follows: