Chicken breasts are stuffed with a delicious spring pesto and served with a savory pan sauce for an elegant and tasty meal. You can serve this alongside steamed vegetables, potatoes, or over pasta or rice.
Once and week Kyle and I head to Costco for our weekly staples – rotisserie chicken, bananas, organic eggs (which I’ve just discovered I can get farm fresh with our CSA!), etc. Some weeks we only go in for 1 or 2 things and others we need to stock up things like coconut oil, almond butter, salmon, chicken, cleaning products, etc.
Chicken breasts are a staple in our freezer. We buy the big packs of fresh chicken breasts at Costco and then just pop them in the freezer. They are conveniently separated into pouches with 2 pieces per pouch, so it’s perfect for a two-person household.
Well, a few weeks ago we needed more chicken. Kyle spent a few minutes analyzing the types of chicken in the case (organic, free-range, breasts, thighs, legs, tenders) and I was getting annoyed and said “just pick one!”. Well, after I tossed the package into a plastic bag he told me to make sure that he grabbed the breasts and not the tenders. I never actually checked, but told him that it was fine.
We got home and unloaded our stuff and I saw that the chicken he grabbed was in fact not breasts, but tenders. Now, most people would see nothing wrong with this, but if you’ve ever bought chicken tenders you might notice they tend to be quite tough. This is because of the white tendon that runs through them. Yes, you can remove it but it’s a pain in the but. Also, the tenders aren’t as versatile in my opinion.
I blame the whole tender incident on the chaos that is Costco. I have a love-hate with Costco – it’s ALWAYS crowded. I’ve gone at all different times Monday thru Sunday and it’s always a rough experience. I do love what they sell, though. So, I keep returning week after week.
So anyway, what I’m getting at is that we finally finished up those annoying tenders! To celebrate I decided to make something fancy. I’m only kidding … I just really wanted to make a pesto stuffed chicken breast.
That story was way longer than I intended.
Onto the chicken…
I’ll keep this part short, I promise!
It’s actually a pretty simple recipe and you can do the prep work ahead of time to make it even easier. I had an abundance of spinach and arugula in my fridge and my answer to that is always pesto. Then, I just butterfly the chicken and pound them to an even thickness. Spread the pesto on each pieces, roll them up and secure with butcher’s twine.
At this point, you can cook them or just cover them and keep them in your fridge for up to 24 hours. To add more flavor I make a quick pan sauce while the chicken finishes cooking in the oven. We enjoyed the chicken with a simple side of steamed broccoli, but you can serve it up with any of your favorite veggies, or lay it over a bed of pasta or rice.
If you’re looking for a fun new way to enjoy chicken, this recipe is for you!
- 1 ½ Cups Spinach
- 1 ½ Cups Arugula
- 3 Tablespoons Almonds
- 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ¼ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, butterflied and pounded thin
- Olive Oil, for cooking the chicken
- ½ Small Onion, finely chopped
- ½ Cup White Wine
- ½ Cup Chicken Broth
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Fresh Chives or Parsley
- Combine the spinach, arugula, almonds, garlic, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are coarsely chopped and then stream in the olive oil in a steady stream while the machine is running. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 400º.
- Lay the butterflied chicken breasts out on a large cutting board. Equally distribute the pesto amongst the chicken pieces, spreading it into a thin layer over the surface of the chicken. Fold in the sides and then roll each breast up (some of the filling will squeeze out). Secure each piece of chicken with butcher’s twine (about 3 was enough to hold mine together).
- Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides (about 5-8 minutes total). Transfer the chicken breasts to a baking sheet and place them in the preheated oven. Bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes or until cooked thorough. Let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile, add the onion to the pan drippings and sauté over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add in the wine and chicken broth, allowing it to come to a boil. Cook the sauce until the mixture has reduced by about half. Stir in the butter and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Slice the chicken and serve topped with the pan sauce and fresh chives.