Marika makes a mean pesto, and Alina just got a new meat tenderizer. The result? Mozzarella and pesto stuffed chicken breasts with crunchy pecan crust. We purchased the basil for the pesto fresh from the Ann Arbor farmers’ market–deliciously fragrant, organic, and most importantly, local! #helpingMotherEarth
– 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
– pesto (store-bought will do the trick, but we made our own!)
– sliced fresh mozzarella
– 4 tbsp butter
– 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
– 1 tsp lemon juice + zest
– Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, marjoram)
– dried thyme
– cayenne pepper
– 1 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
– 1/2 cup bread crumbs
– salt and pepper, to taste
– parchment paper or plastic wrap
1. Place chicken breast, one at a time, between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Using a meat tenderizer (or bottom of a frying pan a la Rachael Ray), pound the meat from the center outward until 1/4 inch thick.
3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and cook on medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add a liberal pinch of italian seasoning and thyme, as well a dash of cayenne pepper. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Season with salt (if you’re using unsalted butter) and pepper to taste. Let simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes.
We enjoyed the chicken with grilled veggies, our friend’s homemade grape leaves, and great company!
Happy summer from Ann Arbor!