Ya know when you make a meal that really knocks your socks off? Well, this is one of those recipes. I had a package of basil leftover from my Italian Burgers I made last week and Pesto was on my list of things I wanted to make. Carrie's Sweet Life had an amazing recipe for Pesto Cream Cheese Chicken that I wanted to try and I had a pesto recipe in my Betty Crocker's Italian Cooking cookbook. The pieces of real basil and the minced garlic was the perfect combination with the creamy cream cheese. I chose to use it as a topping and placed it under the broiler for a few minutes to make it hot, you can also slice a pocket in the chicken and stuff it with the Pesto Cream Cheese. I'm thinking about toying with this a bit and trying to make it a dip as well, its that good!
If you don't want to make the pesto, just substitute with 2 tablespoons of Pesto sauce you can buy at the grocery store, usually in the refrigerated section. Buitoni makes a decent one.
Pesto Ingredients-For 2 Chicken Breasts
-1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
-1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-1/4 cup pine nuts (optional, I omitted in this recipe)
-1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I didn't have so I used 2 tablespoons dried parsley)
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-dash of pepper
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 butterflied chicken breasts
-Italian breadcrumbs for dredging
-1 egg for dredging
-Flour for dredging
-2 tablespoons fat free or low fat cream cheese
1. To make the pesto, in a food procesoor combine all ingredients and process until smooth and blended.
2. For the pesto cream cheese topping, combine the 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and the pesto.
3. Dredge the butterflied chicken breasts in the flour, egg, then breadcrumbs. In an EVOO coated pan, cook chicken 6 minutes per side over medium heat. When chicken is fully cookied, top with pesto cream cheese. Place on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes until cream cheese is hot.
Sources: Carrie's Sweet Life, Betty Crocker's Italian Cooking