A Sarcastic Appetite

Chicken with Lemon Artichoke Pesto
June 7, 2010, 8:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s a sad day in a young food blogger’s world when her own mother admits she hardly checks the site, since someone – ahem – has been so remiss about updating regularly. I’ve got excuses for every day of the week, but I won’t bore you with them. What I will bore you with is my latest catch-all: lemon artichoke pesto. It’s easy to throw together, keeps well, and can be used in any number of ways: to spread on sandwiches, stuffed in chicken, piled on chicken and roasted, thinned out and used as dressing. Often I make a double batch, and even then it doesn’t last long. It is also pleasing to the palate of certain picky eaters around here, though I daren’t name any names. And though I haven’t toyed with this iteration yet, I bet it would be delicious baked with some breadcrumbs until it was all bubbly and golden, then scooped onto crackers. Ooh, that does sound good. Too bad my last jarful has practically been licked clean.

As for the dinner version of this, well, it’s pretty simple. It’s not quite a “Dinner in Twenty Minutes” kind of thing, but it’s not far off. (“Dinner in Twenty Three Minutes” somehow doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.) You’re pan roasting chicken breasts before flipping them, covering them with pesto, mustard and breadcrumbs, and then finishing them off in the oven. I think the longest part here is waiting for the oven to preheat. That, or fast forwarding through all the commercials to watch the latest episode of “You Are What You Eat.” No? Gross? Should I not have done that?

Lemon Artichoke Pesto

Makes about 1- 1 1/2 cups.

1 can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed

heaping 1/2 c. Parmigiano Reggiano, diced (you could grate it and add more, I suppose, but this is the lazy version. Bear with me.)

zest of 1/2 lemon

juice of 1 lemon

lots of salt and pepper

1-2 garlic cloves

1/3 c. olive oil

Add everything but the olive oil into a blender or food processor. Pulse to blend, then stream the olive oil in. Taste and season as necessary. (You may want it very lemony, or garlicky.) I also like to add a dash of crushed red pepper flakes, or pine nuts, or even a handful of walnuts if I have them. Really, anything goes. It does well to have a sleepover in the fridge, but is still delicious if you use it right away – as with the Chicken with Lemon Artichoke Pesto, below.

Chicken with Lemon Artichoke Pesto

Serves 3.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; salt and pepper both sides

several glugs of olive oil

1/2 c. Lemon Artichoke Pesto

1/4 c. breadcrumbs, preferably panko

2-3 tbsp. dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 425º. In a small bowl, stir together the pesto and breadcrumbs; add a couple glugs of olive oil to make sure all the breadcrumbs are moistened. Warm a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in an oven-safe pan over medium heat. (You want to make sure it gets hot enough so you get a nice sear on the chicken.) Add the chicken to the pan and cook about 5-6 minutes – until it’s not quite cooked halfway through. Turn the stove off, flip the breasts over, then spread a few tablespoons of mustard onto each breast, then top with equal amounts of the breadcrumb and pesto mixture. Put the pan in the oven and roast the chicken, about 12-15 minutes, or until the chicken’s cooked through.

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[…] inordinate amount of time wondering what the hell I could cook….until I remembered how well this went over for all parties involved. Boom. Done. It’s a bit of a compromise: it doesn’t […]

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