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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Basil Pesto and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken with a Tomato Vinaigrette

Wow that's a long title for a recipe!  It's very Italian don't ya think?  Tomatoes, basil pesto, ricotta cheese!!  The tomato vinaigrette really makes this meal.  It is so zesty, sweet from the tomatoes and a hint of chives (very slight onion taste).  It is so darn good, you have to try it soon!  It sure will impress your  family and friends at your next dinner party.









Using a sharp knife cut a deep slit in the thickest side of the chicken breast.  




Use your finger to deepen and widen the slit.  I know it's not a pretty picture but you need to see how it's done!  Don't be a baby, stick you finger in there and widen the pocket!  You know who I'm talking about out there, those of you who can not touch raw meat!  If you have to, wear gloves!  You can do it!  Put your big girl pants on and get after it!  Or, if you happen to be a man, put on your big boy pants and get in there!



Mix together the ricotta and pesto, season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.


Stuff the pocket with the pesto ricotta mixture.  You can do it with a spoon, or put it into a zip lock bag, squeeze it to the corner, snip the corner off and squeeze it into the pocket.  I stuffed it with my fingers, was easier for me that way!  Seal with a toothpick or just reshape the breast.  Place the chicken on a plate and cover.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Tomato Vinaigrette:


Place chives into the food processor


Pour olive oil into a food processor and process until smooth. 


 Add chive oil to the tomatoes, lime zest and lime juice.  Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.  Set aside.


Brush chicken with olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.  Grill on a fairly hot BBQ grill or in a skillet for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the breasts.  Serve on a plate and spoon the tomato vinaigrette over the top.


The Recipe:



Basil Pesto and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken with
Tomato Vinaigrette


1 tablespoon of pesto (my recipe http://www.marysbites.com/2012/09/basil-almond-pesto.html or use a good quality store bought pesto)
¼ cup low fat ricotta cheese
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil 
3/4 teaspoon of salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, divided
salad green of your choice


Mix together the ricotta and pesto, season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.  Using a sharp knife cut a deep slit in the thickest side of the chicken breast.  Use your finger to deepen and widen the slit.  Stuff the pocket with the pesto ricotta mixture.  Seal with a toothpick or just reshape the breast.  Place the chicken on a plate and cover.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Tomato Vinaigrette:

¼ cup olive oil
Small bunch of chives (I cut mine in 2” pieces then measured the chives and it was about 1/3 of a cup)
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
Zest from ½ of a lime
Juice from ½ of lime (about 1 tablespoon)

Pour olive oil into a food processor or blender; add the chives and process until smooth.  Add chive oil to the tomatoes, lime zest and lime juice.  Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of blackpepper.  Set aside.

Brush chicken with olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.  Grill on a fairly hot BBQ grill or in a skillet for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the breasts.  Serve on a plate of salad and spoon the tomato vinaigrette over the top.

Adapted from a little book called Best Ever Mediterranean

Happy Eating!







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