Monday, August 2, 2010

Lemon Pesto Chicken with Sauteed Mushrooms

Last night went really well. I think that it was the first time I've ever cooked for 9 people at once. A lot of the times had to be adjusted; with 9 chicken breasts and a total of about 25 ounces of mushrooms being cooked at the same time, I was thankful the oven was there to keep the food that had been cooked warm.

The only thing that went astray during the two hours spent prepping/cooking food was the pesto. Jeff figured out, with our blender, the best way to successfully blend things is to have the blender on and then drop items in. At Jeff's parent's house, we were using an unfamiliar blender, and so he struggled with it a bit (basil flew everywhere). Because we doubled the recipe (mistake, too much pesto left over), the blender was left on while he put the ingredients in. He ended up making what I call "pesto smoothie": all the goodness of pesto flavor, now in a creamy drinkable form. Honestly, I'm amused by the whole thing. It was a good learning experience. The other thing that I messed up on was forgetting to add the lemon juice to the mushrooms. Whoops. (It wasn't missed.)

So, in it's completed form...

(Reused picture, not featuring pesto smoothie.)

Serves 2

Pesto (makes 3/4 cup):
Note: You can use your own Pesto recipe for this if you please, however, this one works well with this dish because of the lemon juice.

3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1 1/2 cups basil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix garlic, nuts, basil, and cheese together in blender until blended.
Continue blending, and slowly add the lemon juice and olive oil.


1 chicken breast
2 tbsp flour
1 lemon's zest
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup pesto

Pound chicken breast as much as you can, then cut it in half or thirds, depending on how large of portions you want.
Continue pounding until chicken is about a little less than a half inch thick.
Mix the flour, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl, and coat the chicken pieces thoroughly.
Melt 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter on a non-stick skillet on medium heat.
Cook chicken for 3 minutes on each side.
After plating, top chicken with a layer of pesto (add as much or little as you want).


1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 shallot, minced
3 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and halved
4 oz baby bella mushrooms, halved
1 clove garlic, minced
thyme, dried, to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
2 oz pasta
2/3 cup cheese, Parmesan, grated
1 teasp lemon juice

Heat oil and butter over medium heat in a skillet until butter is melted.
Add shallots and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Increase heat to med-high, stir in the shiitake mushrooms, and cook for 1 minutes.
Stir in the baby bella mushrooms and 1/8 teaspoon salt, and cook until softened, about 6 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and thyme, cook for 1 minute.
Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and cover.
Stir the broth into the skillet and bring to boil.
Stir in the cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until sauce has thickened slightly and reduced, about 4 minutes.
Cook pasta.
Add the cooked mushrooms, sauce, Parmesan, and lemon juice to the pasta and toss to combine.

All these recipes were developed from other recipes, and I feel it's appropriate to list the sources.
Chicken:Knack Quick & Easy Cooking
Mushrooms: Cooking for Two: 2009

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