I’m always weary of dishes that are sort of stuffed like this because often times they are overcooked, but cook this right and use that instant read thermometer, and oh boy will you be rewarded! The chicken is so tender and the sundried tomato pesto is to die for. I take the basic pesto and add scallions for some zing, and also use the flavorful olive oil the sundried tomatoes were packed in to bump up the flavor…as if pesto doesn’t have enough flavor as it is! I must say, I love sundried tomatoes (though, that wasn’t always the case. When I was a little girl in Girl Scouts, on Halloween they told us they were dried up newts and I was scarred for quite a while. HAHA). Alright, to the recipe!
3 oz parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, and garlic/herbs, if possible(3-4 oz)
3 scallions, roughly chopped
the leaves from 1 bunch parsley
1/4 cup basil (firmly packed)
1/2 cup pinenuts (or walnuts)
4 tbsp olive oil (preferably from the sundried tomatoes)
salt and pepper
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (3 pieces)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pulse the parmigiano and sundried tomatoes together until nicely chopped up:
Add the scallions, parsley, basil, and pinenuts and pulse until it’s nice and chopped up. Stream in the sundried tomato olive oil and pulse until combined. The pesto will be pretty chunky (not runny at all). If you want, you can add more olive oil (or I even use plain yogurt sometimes) to thin out the pesto, but the pesto stays rolled up in the chicken better if it’s thicker:
Set your chicken breasts on a cutting board, and butterfly them with a very sharp knife, cutting into the thickest part of the breast:
Then place the butterflied chicken breast into a gallon sized ziploc bag and pound it out with a meat mallet or a frying pan.
Before you get your hands messy, pull out about 5 toothpicks per chicken breast and set them next to your work station. Lay the flattened chicken breast out on a flat surface, and season with salt and pepper. Spread a big spoonful of pesto onto the breast, then start rolling the chicken up, securing the ends with the toothpicks.
Heat up an ovenproof skillet over medium high heat, and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Sear the chicken on all sides, then pop the pan into the oven for another 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken breasts) until the interior reaches 155 on an instant read thermometer. Let the meat rest for a minute, then slice and enjoy! Thanks for reading!