Thursday, March 6, 2008

Baked pesto chicken

Baked pesto chicken

Some things sound wonderful but don't turn out so fine...

Take “Arrested Development”, for instance. Such a great show – perfect writing, sharp cast. To think that the poor boy’s name is George Michael makes me laugh already; nothing against the name - to be clear about it, in case there’s a George Michael reading me right now – but for someone my age it’s impossible to read that name and NOT think of him.

So, back to the show. I love everything about it. It even gave me hope about Ron Howard – I don’t like the guy, but he’s the voice behind the episodes (though I’ll never forget he made this). It should be the #1 comedy and all that. But it got cancelled. And that makes me sad.

What also made me sad was this recipe. I got it from an ad in Bon Appetit magazine a few months ago and I knew it would be delicious. Well, it was OK. But not I-want-to-make-this-200-times delicious.

I should have learned my lesson about not marinating chicken before cooking it, but apparently I have not. The idea of chicken with pesto blinded me.

So don’t be like me and marinate the chicken before making this recipe. And please, let me know how it turned out.

The original recipe is here – I changed it a little by browning the chicken before baking it.

Baked pesto chicken

Baked pesto chicken

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 (about 680g/1 ¼ pounds total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup pesto sauce – I used this recipe
¾ cup (3 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Line baking sheet with heavy-duty foil.

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; add garlic and cook until it starts to brown. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook until nicely browned in both sides. Remove from the pan and place it in a medium bowl. Add the pesto and toss to coat. Place chicken on prepared baking sheet and drizzle any remaining pesto sauce over it.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from oven; top with the mozzarella. Bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4


Brilynn said...

I've been watching Arrested Development reruns and I love it! I laugh every time George Michael mentions Anne and everyone's always like 'who?", for some reason I think that's just hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Arrested Development is quite funny..but your chicken dish is the cheese on top!

Unknown said...

I am with you on this one! It is so disappointing when something that looks like it will be wonderful turns out to not be just so-so. The pictures sure can fool you though cause it delicious!

grace said...

arrested development might just be my favorite show ever. did you know that there's talk of a movie? keep your fingers crossed!

Bethany said...

question =) i'm a secret blog reader, but what would you marinate the chicken with?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I rarely marinate my chicken before cooking it. Probably because I'm starving by the time I get home from work! :)

This *looks* really tasty anyway, Patricia!

test it comm said...

I like the sound of chicken baked with pesto and cheese. mmm...

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Well, it looks pretty, even if it didn't live up to your expectations. I'm sure you'll try it again, without marinating. Let us know.

Manggy said...

Oh, Patricia, I think it still looks appetizing.. You can try brining the chicken for 30 minutes before cooking too :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Doesn't pesto make everything taste better?

Warda said...

I have to agree with Susan Pesto does make everything taste better. It's funny that it wasn't good because of the marinade. I usually marinade my chicken breasts to have better results. What was the problem? It looks good though :)

LyB said...

I'm so with you about shows being canceled without a chance, a real bummer! Maybe this dish would have been better with cutlets, thinner so maybe not so dry... Looks good anyway!

Sarah said...

I hate when things don't turn out like you expect--I have this happen when I try to cook certain cuts of beef and pork all the time. I don't blame you for being blinded by the recipe, though. Chicken and pesto? Sounds fabulous.

Cakespy said...

That looks and sounds so excellent! Perfect for a weekend dinner, followed by movies at home. ;-) Comforting and flavorful--this combo always works for me!

Deborah said...

I just blogged about a recipe that I had high hopes for but didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped for. I hate it when that happens!

Anonymous said...

It looks great! What would you do differently?

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

That looks great! I love pesto.

Anonymous said...

Yum! I love pesto chicken!
You've made my day!

Nora B. said...

I'm definitely a marinade the chicken at least an hour before sort of cook. Pesto makes everything tasty, and your chicken looks great, esp with the melted cheese on top.

Have a nice weekend,
p/s: your first focaccia looks great too!

Helene said...

I agree that marinating chicken is the way to go. Pesto, cheese and chicken are a great combo!

Susan @ SGCC said...

Patricia- The chicken looks great, even though you didn't love it. I find that is often the case with chicken breast. I almost always swap out boneless thighs for it. They never disappoint me.

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Wow, delicious, with sundried tomato pesto would be very nice as well :)


Emily said...

Arrested Development?! Yes! Don't you love Will Arnett?

Well, I think your chicken sounds good. Sorry it wasn't a raging success, but oh well.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I'll take your advice and not marinate the chicken. This does sound droolworthy:D

Jaime said...

everything is better when it is marinated :)

guess what? you always make my day when i read your posts :)

Cheryl said...

I think the pesto chicken looks amazing.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Bri, yes!! I laugh like a crazy. And who could think that Portia di Rossi could be funny? :)

Peter, thank you!

Christine, that melted cheese can fool people! :)

A. Grace, really?? Fingers and toes crossed already. :)
And tks for stopping by!

Bethany, I'd use lime juice (or lemon), salt, pepper, loads of garlic. :)

Michelle, thank you, sweetie!

Kevin, it sounds wonderful, I agree. :)

Lydia, I will try it again marinating it before - I think it will add loads of flavor.

Mark, that's what I usually do, but not this time. :(

Susan, it does!

Warda, it wasn't good because of the lack of the marinade.

LyB, I think thighs would work even better, since they have more flavor.

Sarah, I'll have anything with pesto. :)
And for the recipes, I know what you mean.

Cakespy, I like the idea of adding movies to this! :)

Deb, I saw your post and those cookies looked fabulous!

Ann, I'd marinate the chicken for 1 hour or more before cooking it. And tks for stopping by!

Jessy, thanks for your visit!

Carrie, thank you!

Nora, that's the way chicken will always taste better, right?

Helen, pesto and cheese make anything better!

Hi, sweetie! Thighs are much more flavorful, I agree with you!

Margot, great idea!

Emiline, he's cute AND funny - that's a great combo from where I'm standing. :)

Bellini, do marinate it, sweetie. That's what went wrong.

Jaime, tks, dear!! And I agree with you about marinating.

Dana said...

Arrested Development is fantastic. I was SO sad when it got cancelled. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia!
Chicken and good! You should bring it to our festa italiana! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Patricia,

this pesto chicken looks wonderful and so easy to make. I think a person can use pesto on just about anything and it would taste great. Thanks for sharing!

giz said...

chicken, pesto, cheese - ok, you have my attention - this is an easy must try that looks pretty darned good.

Kelly-Jane said...

Pesto and mozzarella with chicken looks and sounds so good, I'll remember this one!

desie said...

this sounds good nevertheless. though, my opinion probably won't count for much if i told you i actually enjoyed seeing 'parenthood' :-)
you may want to try, instead, a pesto/parmesan/breadcrumb combo on top of a salmon fillet. i've the recipe in my archive somewhere-it's delish.

Stella said...

Pestoooooooooo!!! Gotta try this one too!

Jillian said...

I made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious. I love the pesto recipe because it does not require pine nuts, which are usually more expensive. I put this on an Italian roll because I forgot to make a side, and it worked out well. Thanks... I'll definitely be making this again:-)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Jillian, that is excellent news! Thank YOU for letting me know how the recipe turned out!

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