Chicken Pesto Stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella and Steamed VegetablesPosted in Main Course, Recipes on April 6th, 2009 by Van Santos
For years I’ve enjoyed making pesto sauce. I remember on day simply thinking to myself “what would make a good pesto” and I started to experiment. I never used a recipe. this was one of the rare cases where my mind seemed to piece everything together. I had planned on making this dish Saturday evening but I was too sick, I just didn’t have the energy. Yesterday evening I found myself in a slightly better physical state so I decided to have a go at it.
For this dish you will need:
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch of fresh Basil
- 1 bunch of fresh Tarragon
- 1 bunch of fresh Radish greens
- 8 oz Grape Seed oil
- 4 oz Olive Oil
- 1 cup of fresh baby spinach
- 2 tbsp of hazelnuts, chopped
- pine nuts
- ½ cup grated asiago cheese
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
- 3 boneless, skinless, thin sliced chicken breast
- 1 Head of broccoli
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 box Fettuccine
- Put one 1 tsp of Olive Oil in a pan, heat, and roast the garlic cloves. You want these cloves to be BROWN. Not tan. Not lightly golden. BROWN on all sides.
- Take your Fresh Basil, Tarragon and Radish Greens and chop in a blender. I tend not to use the thick stems of the leafs, but some people opt to. To me the taste ends up being too bitter when the stems are included. After chopped, remove from blender.
- Put Grape Seed Oil, Olive Oil hazelnuts and asiago cheese in blender, mix.
- When nuts/cheese and oil have mixed where there are no large “chunks” add the previously mixed Greens as well as the garlic cloves and mix until you obtain the consistence you desire
Your pesto sauce is now done. You may be asking a number of questions about this, so let me try to head a few of them off to being. I use double the amount of Grape Seed oil as compared to Olive Oil because I have found that Olive Oil can be too strong at times. Yes, hazelnuts are used… Be careful not to overdo the usage as the flavor of hazelnut can overwhelm the sauce.
Stuffed Chicken with Mozzarella and Spinach
- Pre-heat oven to 350
- Transfer your pesto sauce out of your blender, if you have not done so already, and rinse out blender.
- Add Spinach, Mozzarella and blend together
- Lay out the chicken breast, add Mozzarella and Spinach filling to the breast, then spoon on desired amount of pesto sauce
- Roll the chicken breast lengthwise, tie with kitchen twine
- Place on foil covered baking sheet, spoon pesto over chicken
- Bake for 35 to 40 mins
While it is usually easy to dry out chicken breast rather quickly, especially thinly sliced breast, remember, as this bakes the cheese in the chicken will melt out. This will help keep the moisture in the chicken.
While the chicken is baking, boil up the Fettuccine. I would suggest you boil the pasta in saltwater (a technique I just learned from JT, one of the other writers on this blog). This will add a subtile taste to the dish. Also steam up the broccoli and squash for about 10 minutes in about an inch of water.
Once everything is ready to be served, drizzle on extra pesto sauce and sprinkle grated asiago cheese and pine nuts to the dish.
Expect to have plenty of pasta and pesto sauce left over as this recipe makes roughly 3 servings. The overall taste to this dish is very well balanced. No one thing out does the other, and there are plenty of flavors to go around. There you go… Enjoy!