Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pesto Chicken

Good morning, friends! I hope everyone has had a fabulous start to their weekend and I hope you're hosting a dinner party tonight and that you have no idea what to make...I'm here to help. ;)

James and I were SO bored the other night with eating leftovers... which is horrible and so not like us! Normally we finish every last scraping of whatever is already made before we start making new things but this was different. We both looked at each other like, "are we seriously gonna eat that soup OR that roast again?" Well we weren't about to... so we got creative! James knew we had a little half block of cream cheese left that wouldn't get used unless we consciously thought about it, so he suggested we make up some cream cheesy concoction and stuff it in some chicken breasts! (jordan, i know... grossest thing ever to you, im sorry... also you should just stop reading this post... there are pictures of raw meat) ;) My sister is a vegetarian, God bless her. Onwards!...

This might be the easiest thing we've ever made but it turned out so gourmet and impressive and was done in 30 minutes. Really, I'm impressed with it enough that I'll probably host a dinner party soon just so I can make it again and try a few new twists with it. Also it's one of those main dishes that cries out for SO MANY different sides, the options are endless. However, giving in yet again to my deep obsession with kale, I imagine that's what I'll be serving it with next, along with my mom's Lebanese rice. So go thaw some chicken breasts in the sink, send your man to the store for some pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and cream cheese if you don't already have it, and come back here so I can show you how to make this.... here we go:

  • Turn your oven to 400 degrees and drizzle olive oil over the bottom of your baking dish. (enough so that your chicken doesn't want to stick)
  • Slice a long cut down the center of your chicken breast, but don't go all the way through to the bottom, and leave a little space on either end so that you've got a pocket type opening.

  • Get out a small mixing bowl and toss in a dash of sea salt. (by a dash, I probably mean a few granules less than a teaspoon)
  • Add in some serious pesto.

  • Throw in some sun-dried tomatoes. I suggest a generous amount... they turn so PERFECTLY irresistible when they're baked, you'll want more than just a few.


  • Add in half a block of cream cheese. (4 ounces)

if you're seeing this photo right now and it's not doin' anything for you, you should check yourself and also stop cooking all together stop reading this post because it is ALL about loving some pesto-y, creamy cheesy goodness.

  • Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon... if you're a lemon person, try the juice from one whole lemon, that'd be amazing.

  • Mix it all around!
  • Now spoon the mixture into the chicken breasts! (by the way, you'll only see 3 chicken breasts photographed but these amounts I'm giving you made filling for 4, maybe even 6... we ended up having one less chicken breast to stuff)

Now you're gonna make a little tasty 'finish' for the top....

  • Mince 4 cloves of garlic.
  • Saute the garlic in a little olive oil until it starts to smell great... maybe 3 minutes.
  • Now turn the heat way down and add in some brown sugar. It'll start to bubble. I did WAY too much on accident... it was tasty but too sweet so I suggest maybe 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, MAX. If the brown sugar thing sounds gross to you, saute the garlic and mix in a little more lemon juice and whisk one egg.

  • Now spoon all that yummy finish on the tops of the chicken breasts. If you opted for the egg wash version, brush the egg wash on first, then spoon on the olive oily, lemony garlic.

  • Now just put it in your 400 degree oven for 30 minutes uncovered.

Serve with a dark, leafy salad and some rice or over a bed of skinny angel hair noodles tossed in nothing but lemon, olive oil and salt. Crack open a bottle of malbec and your work is done!
This is one of those dishes you can put in the oven when people arrive... no stress, time for a glass of wine, and all the while you're OWNING being that put-together woman who can have a good time, relax AND make a mean, gourmet dinner. So go ahead, call up those girlfriends, have an impromptu Saturday night shindig and enjoy the delicious smells and tastes of your new best dish... happy weekend.



  1. Sid...every day you make me hungry. I'm so happy you are living in I'd be a total wolfenstein by now, around all the delicious things you prepare. James is certainly loving it all!
    Miss you...hope to see you soon! Great website!

  2. Making this tonight for friends that are coming over!