Passaretti’s Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breast With Pesto Sauce
by Jeremy Roseblade, Chef, Passaretti's Italian Restaurant, South Lake Tahoe, California
- Pesto Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- Pinch kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- ⅓ cup high-quality olive oil
In a food processor, pulse the garlic cloves, coarsely chopped basil, pinch of salt, pine nuts, and cheese into a paste. Gradually blend in the olive oil. Adjust seasonings as needed and set aside.
- Stuffed Chicken Breast
- 6 boneless skinless Smart Chicken breasts
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ¾ cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 (28-ounce) jar roasted red peppers (6 pepper halves)
- 1 to 2 large balls fresh baby mozzarella, cut into 6¼-inch rounds
- 12 large, whole, fresh basil leaves
- ⅓ cup olive oil (for browning), divided
Fill three medium bowls, in the following order: flour in the first, lightly beaten eggs in the second, and bread crumbs seasoned with garlic powder, parsley, paprika, and ½ cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in the third bowl.
Slightly pound out each breast on wax paper to flatten, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Brush outside edge with egg wash. On one half of the chicken breast, place 1 piece of roasted pepper, one slice mozzarella, and two whole basil leaves. Fold opposite side of chicken over the ingredients and press together. Repeat with all six breasts. Dredge each chicken breast in each of the bowls beginning with flour, then egg wash, then seasoned bread crumbs.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
In large frying pan, heat half the olive oil over medium heat until just hot. Place three of the stuffed and breaded breasts in the pan. Allow to cook five minutes over medium heat, just until bread crumbs turn golden. Do not overcook. Turn the breasts to brown the other side. Transfer chicken to a large glass baking dish. Continue browning the remaining three breasts, then transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the chicken and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Do not overcook.
To serve, let the chicken cool slightly and cut each breast into 4 to 5 slices, fan out on a plate and drizzle with pesto sauce.
Pairing: Seaglass Sauvignon Blanc from California or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale